Top Brexit Lawmaker Says Not Enough Progress In Talks


A number of Conservatives joined the opposition in voicing concerns during the debate of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill about the fact it gives the government temporary powers to make secondary legislation, enabling corrections to be made to the laws, a move described by former Tory Minister Anna Soubry as a "power grab".

In a bid to head off concerns led by former attorney general Dominic Grieve and former constitutional affairs minister John Penrose, about legislating on Brexit by executive order, the government is likely to agree on a system that would establish an external expert committee to advise the government on new laws that would change or remove the existing European Union rules.

The government has promised concerned lawmakers that ministers would not use the wide-ranging powers to make "substantive changes" to law and some have said they will seek changes to the bill at later stages.

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"A vote against this bill is a vote for a chaotic exit from the European Union", Davis said in a statement.

The bill will give "certainty and clarity" ahead of Brexit and lawmakers "from all parts of the UK" should "work together in support of this vital piece of legislation".

Although other ERG members are supporting May's legislation, some have privately expressed support for Penrose's position, with one senior figure telling the Guardian they had not campaigned for Brexit in order for it to turn into a "power grab".

The Brexit bill will formally end Britain's EU membership and overturn the supremacy of European law in the country.

Last night was the bill's "second reading" and there may now be renewed attempts to propose amendments before it moves on to a "committee stage".

When the House gets down to the detailed work on the Bill, called the committee stage, it will need to agree some new method to deal with all of this European Union legislation as it is incorporated into British law.

Having lost her majority in the House of Commons in June's election, Mrs May is vulnerable to rebellions from her own side and relies on the votes of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

She faces a daunting battle to get the complex measure onto the statute book as 157 amendments to the Bill covering 59 pages were tabled by MPs of all parties - including Tory Europhiles.

It also wants to secure protections on human rights, workers' rights, environmental standards and devolution to Scotland and Wales.

The pro-European Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake called the passing of the bill "a dark day for the mother of parliaments".

The Bill's committee stage will take place when MPs return to Parliament after their party conferences.

Lawmakers are debating the bill Monday in the House of Commons with a vote due around midnight.