March 25, 2019 / 10:15 PM / 6 months ago

Parliament faces choice on who controls business - Brexit minister

Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers face the question of who controls business in parliament, Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Monday, trying to persuade them to reject a bid by parliament to wrest control of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Members of parliament are poised to try to seize control of Brexit, hoping to force time to consider alternative options beyond Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal.

Barclay said the government had already promised to give parliament time to try to find a way forward.

“The question before the House (of Commons) this evening ... is who controls the order paper, whether control is passed to backbenchers in this house ... with constitutional implications,” he told MPs.

Referring to a proposal calling on the government to ask parliament whether it approves of leaving the EU without a deal, if it comes within a week of doing so, he said: “I want to reassure her that the government will return to the despatch box (parliament) in the event that the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved this week.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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