Rebellion threat to EU Withdrawal Bill

From BBC - December 12, 2017

The government is facing the threat of a defeat by rebel backbenchers when MPs vote on its flagship EU legislation.

Led by the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, the rebels want to insert a legal guarantee that MPs should get a vote on any final Brexit deal before it is finalised.

The government has no majority in the Commons and is vulnerable to a revolt by its MPs.

Theresa May said the government was listening to MPs' concerns.

The UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019, and the EU Withdrawal Bill is a key part of the government's exit strategy.

Its effects include ending the supremacy of EU law and copying existing EU law onto the UK statute book, so that the same rules and regulations apply on Brexit day.

The bill is currently making its way through Parliament, where MPs from across the House of Commons have been trying to amend it.

So far it has emerged unscathed, but on Wednesday several rebels are lining up behind Mr Grieve's bid to ensure a "meaningful vote" on any final deal agreed with Brussels.

The government has already offered a take-it-or-leave-it vote via a new act of Parliament on the final deal reached with Brussels.

But Mr Grieve said the bill as currently worded would allow ministers to implement the agreement themselves without consulting MPs.

Who will blink first?

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

For vulnerable governments, losing is potentially much more dangerous than the odd defeat for governments who are secure in the level of their support.

It's in that context that the government faces a potential defeat on Wednesday on the Withdrawal Bill and must weigh up its best course of action.

The legislation has been grinding its way through the Commons for weeks. Tory rebels have threatened to vote against the government on a few different occasions.


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