Landmark Brexit Bill passed

UK parliament debates European Union Withdrawal Bill

Debate resumes on key Brexit law

The text, which was passed by 324 votes to 295, will enable the United Kingdom to continue on a "business as usual" basis after Brexit, scheduled for March 29th, 2019.

British MPs gave the green light, on January 18, to a landmark Brexit Bill, after weeks of debate and a damaging government defeat, but the legislation now faces a battle in the House of Lords.

The Brexit Withdrawal bill will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act which originally took Britain into what was then called the EEC in 1973.

But political commentators said the bill's passing in the Commons was a major milestone in the Brexit journey.

Eleven members of May's Conservative party joined with opposition lawmakers last month to approve an amendment making sure that parliament will have a "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal.

The government breathed a sigh of relief tonight as MPs approved its European Union withdrawal bill, setting the scene for a showdown over the flagship Brexit legislation in the House of Lords.


Veteran Tory MP Kenneth Clarke, a strident europhile, said yesterday that the House of Lords could make alterations to the bill.

The Scottish and Welsh governments have also warned against what they describe as a "power grab" in the bill, which would see some powers in devolved areas of policymaking now held in Brussels, taken back to London.

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading Brexit campaigner, warned that the House of Lords could face fundamental reform if it hampered Brexit.

During the first of two days of Commons debate yesterday, Conservative MP and leader of the rebellion, Dominic Grieve, raised concerns over plans not to bring the European Union charter of fundamental rights into British law post-Brexit.

The Telegraph reported how a leaked copy of Labour's own advice to its MPs before the vote said the amendment "pretends you can "guarantee" the outcome of the negotiations and to remain a "member" of the customs union and single market", adding "It is not a serious amendment and it is not one the Labour frontbench will be supporting".

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