EU WITHDRAWAL BILL: Labour amendments fail as MPs REBEL against Corbyn

Erika Holt
January 18, 2018

Asked about Ms Greening's comment, Theresa May's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is clear that she is determined to deliver a Brexit which works for all sections of society".

Concretely, it puts an end to the supremacy of European law over British national law and clarifies the transposition of EU regulations.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the Bill, which transfers European law into United Kingdom law, is essential for "preparing the country for the historic milestone" of withdrawing from the EU.

Despite not voting against the bill, Conservative MPs raised a number of objections to the government's Brexit policy.

MPs spent more than 80 hours considering the Bill, including more than 500 amendments and new clauses.

The amendment failed by 99 votes to 322, with 48 Labour rebels defying the party whip.

Heralding the moment, Brexit Secretary David Davis said: "From the beginning our approach has been to work constructively with MPs from across the House wherever possible to improve the Bill".

The draft legislation passed by 324 votes to 295.

Following pressure from pro-EU Conservatives, the government has also changed the bill to allow for the date and time of Brexit to be altered in case negotiations continue beyond March 29, 2019.

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These powers - dubbed "Henry VIII powers" by critics - would give the government to scrap workers rights and environmental protections that have been guaranteed through European Union law.

The Labour Party, along with the Scottish and Welsh governments, has expressed dissatisfaction with the bill as it stands.

This has drawn strong criticism from the SNP, who term the current legislation a "Westminster power grab", while Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has called the delay "frustrating".

Ms Greening's intervention came just days after she left the Cabinet after declining to move from education secretary to take control of the work and pensions brief during Theresa May's reshuffle.

"The idea that the bill... is going to have an untroubled passage through the House of Lords is an illusion", he said.

Britain and the EU reached preliminary agreement before Christmas on the key separation issues - Britain's financial settlement after Brexit, EU expatriate rights and the future of the Irish border.

Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker said this week that the European Union was still open to a change of mind in Britain over Brexit, a position endorsed on Wednesday by an aide to French president Emmanuel Macron.

Leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage surprisingly pushed the issue back onto the agenda last week when he said he was increasingly open to the idea of a new vote.

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