Sunday, 24 September, 2017

May set to agree on €55 billion Brexit bill, Sunday Times says

UK PM Theresa May says Britain may face a Brexit 'cliff edge' if parliament fails to back the EU repeal bill May warns against Tory rebellion on Brexit legislation
Lillian Steele | 07 September, 2017, 02:09

On Feb. 2, May's deputy advised Conservative lawmakers against doing anything that would increase Labour's chances of returning to power, while May said the bill was the best way to ensure a successful Brexit.

The Bill transfers thousands of European Union laws and regulations on to the statute book, with ministers arguing that it is essential to ensure a smooth transition for individuals and businesses when Brexit takes place.

But the Prime Minister, who will be on the Government's front bench for the debate, says it is about delivering Brexit.

Labour will call on Prime Minister Theresa May to make a series of changes including allowing parliament to replicate any new European Union laws on employment rights, the environment and consumer protection, The Times reported, citing a letter sent by Labour's Brexit spokesman to minister David Davis.

Conservative MPs will not rebel by voting against the bill at second reading on Monday but there is some scope for a cross-party revolt if the government tries to restrict the number of days for debate.

This follows the prime minister's claim that she is "here for the long term" when asked whether she would lead the Tories into the next election last week.

Treasury Select Committee chair Nicky Morgan added: "When people voted to take back control, I believe they wanted control to come back to a sovereign parliament at Westminster, not to an all-powerful government in Whitehall".

The financial settlement was the subject of a bitter row between Brexit Secretary David Davis and Brussels' chief negotiator Michel Barnier during the latest round of negotiations.

But the former minister Anna Soubry said: "Any suggestion that this is any way treacherous or supporting Jeremy Corbyn is outrageous".

The socialist "reneged on Labour's promises over student debts, and now he has betrayed the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit in the greatest ever exercise in democracy this country has ever seen", he argued in a press release.

A handful of Labour rebels could vote with the government, but the Scottish National party and Liberal Democrats also plan to vote against the bill after tabling amendments setting out their reasons for opposing it.

The party opposes the bill's failure to guarantee "crucial rights and protections" for citizens, and wants assurances that Britain would continue to participate in the single market, customs union and European court of justice during a transition period.

Lawyers have described the Bill, which Jeremy Corbyn has ordered Labour MPs to vote against, as the biggest change in the UK's legal system for 45 years.

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