Embattled UK PM Theresa May faces crucial Brexit bill battle in Parliament

Embattled UK PM Theresa May faces crucial Brexit bill battle in Parliament

On the eve of the debate, the government made an apparent concession to rebels by promising a separate piece of legislation that would allow parliament to have a binding vote on any Brexit agreement.

Davis said once the terms of Britain's exit, including any financial settlements, any transition deal and agreement on citizen rights, have been drawn up with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, this will have a specific piece of primary legislation that can be debated, amended and voted on by MPs.

However, the bid to head off opposition from restive lawmakers was met with criticism as MPs claimed the vote would be meaningless and give them little time to consider any eventual Brexit deal.

But it triggered an immediate backlash from potential Tory rebels.

"This confirms that the major policy set out in the withdrawal agreement will be directly implemented into United Kingdom law by primary legislation, not by secondary legislation with the Withdrawal Bill".

The Brexit ministry said the bill was expected to cover issues such as the rights of European Union citizens in Britain and British nationals in the European Union, divorce payments and an agreement on any post-Brexit transition period.

"Parliament could do nothing at all to shape the nature of that withdrawal agreement".

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"Today (Tuesday) the misnamed EU Withdrawal Bill came back to Parliament". "In spring 2019 Britain will leave".

Davis claims that by announcing the bill, the government was "providing clarity and certainty - both in the negotiations and at home - about the final agreement being put into United Kingdom law".

Reacting to the Brexit Secretary's announcement, Ms Allen tweeted: "Pointless if we have enshrined a drop dead date in the Bill, & get a deal at 11th hour!"

On Tuesday, prominent Remain-supporting Tories also criticised an amendment tabled by the Government itself, which would include an European Union exit date of 11pm on 29 March, 2019 within the legislation.

In a House of Commons statement, Mr Davis announced: "It's clear that we need to take further steps to provide clarity and certainty both in the negotiations and at home, regarding the implementation of any agreement into United Kingdom law".

Keir Starmer, Labour's chief Brexit spokesman, said the proposal was "a significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat".

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