Deal or no deal, UK parliament will debate Brexit next steps - minister

FILE PHOTO - Robin Walker, junior minister at the Department for Exiting the Eurpean Union, holds his ministerial folder as he leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, October 15, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Parliament will debate and vote upon the government’s next steps whether or not Prime Minister Theresa May has a Brexit deal for them to approve, junior Brexit minister Robin Walker said on Tuesday.

Walker was responding to an urgent question put forward by an opposition lawmaker, who said there was confusion over whether the government could now bypass parliament and proceed to leaving the European Union without a deal if it wanted to.

“It is our clear intention that this house will consider this matter before the 21st January and have the opportunity to decide on the deal,” Walker said.

“In the unlikely and highly undesirable circumstances that as of 21st January there is no deal before the house, the government would bring a statement to the house and arrange for a debate as specified by the law.”

Asked for further reassurance, he added: “We will have a vote in this house, a motion before this house, by the 21st of January. That is in all scenarios I talked through in my statement.”

Reporting by William James, Editing by Kylie MacLellan