Presuming that a deal is negotiated between the UK and the EU, there would most likely have to be a vote in the European Parliament to confirm it. Given that UK MPs would continue to serve in their function until March 2019, would they be able to cast their vote on said deal?

  • It is worth noting, that the choice in such a situation is for a deal or for there to be no deal, not between a deal and no Brexit. Aug 16, 2018 at 14:07

2 Answers 2


Yes. To expand on armatita's comment, from the same source:

The European Parliament will be important in determining the final withdrawal agreement. Whilst it has no formal role within the Brexit negotiation process, other than the right to receive regular information on its progress, the Council needs to obtain the European Parliament’s consent (Article 50 (2) TEU), voting by a simple majority of the votes cast, before it can conclude the withdrawal agreement.

Therefore, the European Parliament's right to withhold consent to the final agreement offers it political leverage to influence the agreement and effectively makes it a veto player.

Also, from the BBC:

Most of Wales' politicians in the European Parliament have raised doubts whether they will back the final Brexit deal.

Three of the four Welsh MEPs say a lot more work needs to be done on the final agreement between the UK and the EU.

It comes after the UK Government saw off a move which might have given MPs a decisive say.

Only Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne said she was "confident" the final deal would get a majority in Strasbourg.

Officials in London and Brussels hope to reach a deal before "Brexit day" on 29 March 2019.

Once an agreement is made, EU member states and the UK Parliament will be able to ratify it.

MEPs will then have the final vote - something which Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan said should not be forgotten.

"It's not a done deal as far the parliament is concerned," he added.

"If it's a decent deal, if the UK government is saying we should stay in the single market and in the customs union, then probably we will vote for that deal.

"But if it's a bad deal or no deal at all, I imagine that Labour MEPs would not accept that. In fact, I don't think the whole parliament would accept that." [...]

UKIP MEP Nathan Gill, said the party was "very unsure about exactly how we would vote in that final vote".

"Maybe it is better that we vote against it and go out with no deal and we've said that all along - no deal is better than a bad deal."

So from the latter I conclude that UK MEPs will vote on it as well. While that is not 100% stated in there, I haven't seen any source that say otherwise (that the UK MEP's don't get to vote on the final deal in the EU Parliament final vote.) It would be silly for the BBC to convey what the various UK MEPs say about their position in the final vote if they don't actually get to vote (assuming there's something to vote on, i.e. an agreement is made and ratified by the EU member states [including UK] before).

In theory it might be possible for some UK parties to chastise their MEPs, and perhaps with threat of that to keep them from voting, e.g. chatisement happened before:

Two rebel Conservative MEPs who voted to block moves towards trade talks between the UK and European Union have been stripped of the party whip. The South West England MEP Julie Girling and South East England MEP Richard Ashworth were suspended from the party after supporting a resolution in Strasbourg declaring that “sufficient progress” had not been made in the Brexit talks to move on to discussions on the future relationship between the UK and EU.

But I'm not aware of a mechanism (short of consensus among all British parties to e.g. walk out) to keep all their MEPs from voting on the final deal. Insofar there's no indication that's gonna happen. In fact, in the aformentioned non-binding vote, there already was a sharp divergence between British MEPs based on party affiliation:

Mr Ashworth, a former group leader, and Mrs Girling, a former Chief Whip, broke ranks with the 21 strong group of Conservative MEPs to back the resolution, tabled by Guy Verhofstadt.

They were joined by 18 of Labour's 20 Euro MEPs, the only Lib Dem, Plaid Cymru and Sinn Fein MEPs and one of the Green's two Brussels parliamentarians.

Predictably the British government also called for the Labour MEPs to be chastised,

Brexit Secretary David Davis has now written to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urging him to remove the whip from 18 Labour MEPs who also backed the European Parliament's controversial vote. He has also written to Lib Dem leader Vince Cable.

but I doubt that request was given any following, especially given that nearly all (18 of 20) Labour MEPs did that.

  • 1
    (+1) I agree with your conclusion. The only question remaining is if there will be UK MEPs at the time due to the uncertainty of the 2019 UK European Election. Also some answers I've seen on this site seem to make the EU parliament either powerless and/or undemocratic. The EU parliament is directly elected every 5 years by all EU citizens. The biggest difference to a national parliament is that it only has indirect legislative initiative (needs to "invite" commission to make the official proposal).
    – armatita
    Aug 2, 2018 at 12:59
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    @armatita: last I've heard British MEPs will serve for 8 more weeks after Brexit politico.eu/article/… Assuming they don't individually quit, which some have promised to do on Brexit day. The Wikipedia article also say the EU has prepared funds for UK MEP elections, just in case Brexit gets postponed. It would a lot more interesting question what happens to newly elected UK MEPs in that case; they would have to serve a lot more than 8 weeks... Aug 2, 2018 at 13:02
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    Ups, true. For some reason I assumed it would be happening before brexit day. For all other readers: Brexit day (29 March, 2019) ; EU 2019 elections (23-26 May, 2019).
    – armatita
    Aug 2, 2018 at 13:07

No. The European Parliament members from Britain will not cast their vote on the said deal, because as with a surprisingly large number of things affecting Europe, it's not actually decided by the European Parliament.

The post-Brexit trade deal is likely to be the most complex part of the negotiation because it needs the unanimous approval of more than 30 national and regional parliaments across Europe, some of whom may want to hold referendums.

The quote above is from a BBC Article earlier this year. Ultimately the national governments control the membership of the European Union and it will be the National Governments, not the European Parliament that eventually agree or reject the terms of Brexit.

While the supplied quote talks about trade deals, you'll notice that all the news articles about Brexit negotiations refer to Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and so on. None of whom are MEPs.

  • I have the vague notion that the EU Parliament is not going to be involved, but the reason you give seems strange. Brexit deal is not so much about the UK leaving the EU (that is the UK's decision alone) but about the relationship after the UK has left.
    – SJuan76
    Aug 2, 2018 at 9:16
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    (-1) This is incorrect. Not only the powers of the EU parliament have been extended in all major EU treaties (incl. Maastricht, Amsterdam, Lisbon), but it will also vote on the approval of the withdrawal agreement. The link you have provided is broken. In theory (sources needed) UK MEPs should be able to vote on the agreement if they are in the EU parliament at the time (which might be not be all that likely).
    – armatita
    Aug 2, 2018 at 9:22
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    @armatita really interesting link. You learn something new every day, thanks.
    – Jontia
    Aug 2, 2018 at 9:44
  • @SJuan76 the exit part is not really about the future relationship. As I understand it, a political declaration might be added at the end of the withdrawal treaty, but seeing how slowly things are going I doubt that that will be the case.
    – JJJ
    Aug 2, 2018 at 10:07
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    (-1) You're not addressing the question. It's true that it won't be decided by the European Parliament, any deal will also have to be approved by the Council (i.e. the member states' governments) and national parliaments but will MEP get to cast a vote? And will that include British MEP? That's not quite the same question... Also, British politicians loves the idea that they could bypass EU institutions and Barnier by convincing Germany or perhaps Germany and France and that's what news articles reflect but this expectation hasn't been very successful until now.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 2, 2018 at 18:23

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