Theresa May’s Cabinet was due to present its landmark EU Withdrawal Bill next week, but a string of last-minute changes have thrown the Prime Minister’s timetable in to chaos.
This comes as it was revealed Tory rebels are planning to vote against the Government on more than a dozen of the amendments, which would give opposition MPs enough votes to block the Bill from becoming law.
The setback is the latest in a series of blows to Mrs May’s leadership, who this week publicly clashed with Chancellor Philip Hammond over funding for a “no deal” Brexit just days before the EU acknowledged the scenario as a “very real” possibility.
The EU Withdrawal Bill will essentially cut and paste all existing EU laws on to the UK statute books to speed up the Brexit process.
Then, once Britain has officially left the bloc, the Government has said it will review the legislation and remove or amend parts as necessary.
But MPs unhappy with the Government’s proposals have tabled a total of 300 amendments and 54 extra clauses to the Bill.
The Telegraph has reported 13 of these new conditions have enough support from Tory MPs to defeat the Government in a vote.
And now the discussion of the Brexit Bill has been removed from the House of Commons calendar because of the massive amount of admin work the amendments have caused.
Tory rebels are reportedly unhappy with the Prime Minister’s plan to secure “Henry VIII powers” which would allow the Government to transfer EU laws and regulations in to British law without the need for a debate in Parliament.
The Government says the delegated power is essential to ensure a speedy Brexit, but critics are unhappy MPs would not have a chance to vote on them.
The UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019, but the divorce negotiations are at a standstill.
Updating European leaders on the progress of the talks yesterday, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said the deadlock was “disturbing”.
The EU has refused to move on to issues such as trade until key issues, chiefly the UK’s divorce bill, are settled.
But Mr Bariner said the bloc was not prepared to budge on its position over how much Britain should pay, or the future rights of EU citizens and the Northern Ireland border.
And he admitted the prospect of the UK leaving without a deal was a real possibility.
Chancellor Philip Hammond came under fire this week after refusing to commit to funding “no deal” preparations until “the very last moment”.
He defended his decision by claiming it would be wrong to waste taxpayer cash on looking in to options which would be worthless if the UK secures a good Brexit deal.
Source : EXPRESS