As part of a bid to quash a Conservative rebellion, Theresa May’s government has pledged a “meaningful” vote to MPs, who were concerned after amendments were voted down.
Suggestions of a backbench uprising were halted when Brexit Minister David Jones told the Commons MPs would have a final say on the final draft Brexit agreement before it was voted upon by the European Parliament.
However, speaking on Daily Politics, Neil mocked the idea that the EU will be able to draw up a deal in adequate time to offer MPs a chance to properly scrutinise it before it is voted on.
Neil said: “What makes any of you think – whether you are Brexit or Remain – that a deal will be ready five months before we are due to come out?
Andrew Neil has mocked Brussels negotiators for their tardiness
The European Union negotiators were so late they had to stop the clock in order to meet the timetable
“As someone who has covered Brussels negotiations, I have never seen Brussels operate like that.
“I’ve been covering events where they were so late they had to stop the clock in order to meet the timetable.”
Andy McDonald, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, a guest on the show, echoed Neil’s comments.
“There are huge anxieties about trying to get through this under that sort of tight timescale – it is tight, you’re absolutely right,” he added.
Theresa May has pledged to offer a vote on any deal before it hits Brussels
With the Prime Minister aiming to stick to her own timetable and trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March, she will have two years from that point to negotiate a deal and have it agreed by MEPs in the European Parliament.
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Manfred Weber, a senior German MEP, infuriated Britons after he promised the EU would be a “very difficult partner” during Brexit talks while addressing colleagues in Strasbourg.
Mr Weber told the Guardian: “At the end, the European Parliament is the parliament of consent. There are only two parliaments that will say yes: the British and the European parliament.
“That is why we are in the same position as the British parliament in that colleagues are asking for their positions to be taken on board in the negotiations.
“I trust you share my view that the European parliament will play a crucial role in defending the interests of the European people in the Brexit negotiations.”
Brussels was heavily criticised during the EU campaign for its infamous levels of bureaucracy, as Brexiteers promised to remove Britain from the mountains of red tape which they believe holds up Europe.
The bloc has also been criticised for its slowness in negotiating trade deals.
A landmark free-trade deal with Canada, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta), took seven years to negotiate and sign.
While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has still yet to come into force.
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