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Meaning of “meaningful” How MPs will have their say

Meaning of “meaningful” How MPs will have their say

Brexit is not yet a done deal. Some arcane parliamentary procedure still stands in its way. Thanks to a rebel amendment to the EU Withdrawal Act any deal with Brussels can only be implemented once the Commons has approved the deal. Further flesh was added to the bones of the “meaningful vote” in the summer when ministers spelled out that MPs would have to approve this immediate “divorce agreement,” and also (and just as important) a political declaration on the outline of future relations with the EU.

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In Prospect’s December issue: Timothy Garton Ash and David Allen Green assess Brexit and ask whether it’s too late for things to change. Garton Ash explains how Brexit is just one part of a fracturing Europe and that it might not be too late for the UK’s situation—or that of the rest of Europe—to change. Green takes apart the “shambolic” way that Britain has approached Brexit and suggests a number of options that parliament should strongly consider if minister are to change their views. Elsewhere in the issue: Jo Glanville visits a rural GP surgery and exposes the crises that are played out day-in-day-out all over the country. Stephen Phelan suggests that Spain’s decision to exhume General Franco’s remains threatens to disturb more than his bones. Martin Rees writes about our dreams of understanding the entire universe—and how we may never be able to satisfy that desire.