12/09/2017 13:26 BST | Updated 12/09/2017 17:52 BST

11 Ways MPs Are Planning To Water Down 'Monstrous' EU Withdrawal Bill

Here are the key amendments which could limit the Government's power.

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Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve is leading backbencher Tory attempts to change the Bill.


With the EU Withdrawal Bill clearing its first Commons hurdle, all eyes now turn to how MPs will try to change the legislation.

The Bill in its current form has been criticised by Labour and Tory MPs alike, with former Conservative Attorney General Dominic Grieve branding it a “monstrosity.”

Grieve is one of dozens of MPs from across the Commons to put forward a ream of amendments designed to curtail the unprecedented powers sought by Ministers.

Read More: Keir Starmer Tears Apart David Davis’ Brexit Bill, Calls It ‘Extraordinary Power Grab’

Speaker John Bercow will select which amendments which will be kept, and MPs will have eight days in the Commons to discuss and vote on changes to the Bill.

Here are 11 attempts at restricting the Government’s power:

1) Amendment 1

Dominic Grieve’s amendment will limit one of the most powerful proposals in the Bill – namely that Ministers’ can amend EU law even if it is not “deficient” because of Brexit. A similar amendment has been tabled by Chris Leslie.

2) Amendment 32

Probably the most powerful aspect of the Bill is that under delegated powers, ministers will be able to retrospectively change its actual content without MPs approval. This amendment, proposed by Jeremy Corbyn, takes away that power.

3) Amendment 7

Another key amendment, this would give MPs the final say on any deal with the EU – including the size of the financial settlement and future trading relationship. This would also be a vote on the length and scope of a transitional deal. Proposed by Dominic Grieve and has the support of leading Tories such as Ken Clarke and Nicky Morgan. Jeremy Corbyn has put forward a similar measure through Amendment 28.

Labour’s Yvette Cooper - chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee - has joined with other committee chairs including Nicky Morgan, Bob Neill, Harriet and Norman Lamb - has tabled a similar amendment. Cooper’s proposal, NC3, would mean the Government would need to look at introducing separate primary legislation to implement the Withdrawal Agreement.

PA Wire/PA Images
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer has described the Bill as a “huge power grab" by Ministers.

4) Amendments 43/44/45

Put forward by Jeremy Corbyn, these amendments would take control over the Brexit timetable away from ministers and hand it to MPs. The Commons would have control over the length and terms of the transitional deal and when the sunset clauses within the Bill would start.

5) Amendment 6

This Conservative-proposed amendment would make sure there was just one exit day for Brexit. This would stop Ministers stringing out its delegated powers for many years by claiming different parts of Government had different exit days.

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6) Amendment 119

Caroline Lucas is trying to stop the Government being able to use its new powers passed 19 March 2020. Currently, the Bill will allow it to use them for “two years beginning with exit day” – and of course the Government can chose the exit day.

7) Amendment 54

Led by Chris Leslie, this amendment would stop the Government giving any money to the EU as part of a divorce bill or ongoing payment without MPs backing it.

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Commons Speaker John Bercow will select which amendments get voted on.

8) Amendment 5

Proposed by Dominic Grieve, this would stop the Government abolishing a function currently carried out by an EU body in the UK. Ministers would instead have to replace such an organisation.

9) Amendment 25

This would stop Ministers reducing or scrapping entirely rights and protections for people, groups and the natural environment.

10) Amendment 3

This amendment will create a system for MPs to check how the Government is using its Henry VIII powers. Tabled by Dominic Grieve, but Labour has put forward similar amendments as well.

11) Amendment 46 and 8

Jeremy Corbyn and Dominic Grieve have both tabled amendments which would see the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights being transferred into UK law after Brexit.