Brexit: MPs sent home for Christmas – but could be recalled ‘as early as next week’ to approve trade deal

MPs will be sent home for the Christmas holidays on Thursday – but could be recalled to Westminster as early as next week if a post-Brexit trade deal is agreed, Number 10 has said.

“Time is now in short supply to reach an agreement with the EU and we expect discussions will continue over the coming days,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

“In the absence of further substantive business, we will – subject to usual approval by the House – go into recess tomorrow, but with the knowledge that we will recall MPs and peers to legislate for a deal if one is secured.

“That recall could be as early as next week.”

The move suggests that Downing Street does not see a breakthrough on an EU-UK trade agreement being reached this week, with 48 hours’ notice needed to recall parliament.

The spokesman added: “Parliament has long shown it can move at pace and the country would expect nothing less.

“The process for recall will align with the process for finalising the legislation for a deal, if one is secured, and no time will be lost.

“Under the recall process, we will adapt the days’ proceedings to focus exclusively on the passage of that legislation. This may mean meeting at an earlier time.

“We realise that this duty falls not just on MPs and peers, but on the parliamentary staff that make parliament function, to whom we are very grateful.”

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