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Symbolic Vote On Singapore Trade Deal Approved

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced a precedent-setting decision to allow a "symbolic" Parliamentary vote on the proposed Singapore free trade deal.

Details are still being worked out as to exactly how the vote will be taken. It will follow select committee consideration.

Clark said the Government was not willing to forego the long-standing convention of allowing the executive to make foreign policy decisions involving treaties.

The vote in Parliament would be "symbolic, but very meaningful".

The vote is likely to produce the unusual spectacle of Labour and National oting together against Labour's coalition partner, the Alliance, and its upporter, the Greens.

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