NEWS

David Davis Tells MPs Not To Change Brexit Bill Ahead Of Votes

But up to 10 Tory MPs could reportedly abstain or vote against the government.

12/03/2017 08:37

Theresa May must be allowed to “get on with the job” of triggering Britain’s divorce from the European Union, David Davis warned ahead of fresh votes on exit laws.

The Brexit secretary will ask MPs to kick out measures introducing a “meaningful’’ parliamentary vote on the final deal with Brussels and guarantees on protections for EU nationals living in Britain when they consider them on Monday, the Press Association reported.

But up to 10 Tory MPs could oppose the Government or abstain in the vote on the Brexit Bill, including former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and former Chancellor Ken Clarke, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Toby Melville / Reuters
David Davis warned MPs not to change the Brexit bill

And Labour sources warned there was a 20% chance of peers sending the Bill back to the Commons again if their amendments are dismissed out of hand. 

A defiant Davis, however, insisted he will call on MPs to leave the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill untouched.

He said: “However they voted in the referendum, the majority of people now want the Prime Minister to be able to get on with the job.

“By a majority of four to one, MPs passed straightforward legislation allowing the Government to move ahead with no strings attached. I will be asking MPs to send the legislation back to the House of Lords in its original form so that we can start building a Global Britain and a strong new partnership with the EU.

“Our new position in the world means we can restore national self-determination, build new trading links and become even more global in spirit and action.”

The Bill could complete its final stages on Monday if the House of Lords accepts the decisions made by MPs when they vote on it earlier in the day.

It would allow May to trigger the formal Article 50 process for quitting the EU as early as Tuesday.

According to Sky News sources, there is an “80 to 90% chance” the Brexit bill will clear the Lords by midnight on Monday.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Davis said Theresa May must be allowed to 'get on with the job' of leaving the EU

 

Labour has been working closely with crossbenchers in the Lords on their response to the legislation and expects the final hurdle to be crossed as planned. 

But a source warned: “If they are dismissed out of hand then they have got some problems. 

“If there’s no further reassurances, that’s when the Government could get into difficulties. 

“It’s about mood, tone and content.”

In a joint article for the Mail on Sunday, Conservatives Alistair Burt and Jeremy Lefroy said Parliament should have a proper role in the exit plans.

They said: “Let us reassure any Brexiteers reading this. There is no covert plot by Tory MPs to keep us in the EU. There is no ruthless operation to hijack the Commons timetable and use the Article 50 Bill to reverse the will of the referendum.

“There is only a determination – reflecting the ‘taking back control’ argument that was such a feature of the referendum campaign – that Parliament has a role at the end of Brexit negotiations.

“Not just on any agreement reached, but also if there is no deal – an eventuality with significant and deeply worrying consequences.

“There is an absolute logic that Parliament should be given a say in both circumstances but the Government has been reluctant to agree to a vote in the case of no deal, arguing it would hamper negotiations.

“But if the UK’s stance is not weakened by having to seek a vote on a final deal, why should the Government fear a vote on ‘no deal’?

“Just because the consequences of a vote at the end of the process are immense, there is no reason to deny Parliament that vote.”

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