Tory rebels blast Brexit Bill and vow to oppose plan to enshrine the date Britain leaves the EU into law

UP to 18 Tory MPs have threatened to rebel against controversial plans to enshrine Britain’s Brexit day in law.

Their stance threatens to wipe out PM Theresa May’s tiny majority and plunge the Government’s troubled EU Withdrawal Bill into chaos.

Ex-Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is among those planning to revolt over the amendment to bind Britain to quitting on March 29, 2019.

She told Channel 4 News: “I am not voting for there to be an end date.

“I’m not alone, there are a number of colleagues who feel exactly the same way.”

Yesterday MPs spent eight hours debating the first of 470 amendments to the bill, which aims to copy EU law into UK law.


Delighted Tory whips saw off the first challenge. A vote on whether the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies have to give consent to Brexit was defeated by 318 votes to 52.

The amendment over our date to quit is not due to be discussed until next month.

During yesterday’s debate former Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke insisted the amendment was “positively harmful to the national interest”.

Twenty-four hours earlier 18 Tories held talks with Chief Whip Julian Smith and threatened to rebel against the Brexit date vote.

Ex-Attorney General Dominic Grieve said the move was “mad” and warned it would tie our negotiating hand.  He said he refused to back down “just because I am told to”.

Ex-minister Anna Soubry described the meeting as “stormy”.

She added: “The date going into the bill has really upset a lot of really top-quality backbench Conservative MPs.

“These are people, a lot of them ex-ministers, highly respected, and they are genuinely cross about this.

“There were some people there who have never rebelled and they are now talking of rebelling.”

Today the PM is due to meet with a key ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to try and kick-start talks on a trade deal.

MEP Manfred Weber thinks a trade agreement between Britain and Brussels is unlikely until next year.

What is the EU Withdrawal implementation Bill and what does it mean for Brexit?

What does this mean? I thought we already had a Brexit Bill?

Now we will have two, effectively. There will be one, which is currently going through the House of Commons, called the EU Withdrawal Bill. This will take all EU law and put it into British law when we leave.

So what’s this new Bill then?

This will be called the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill. It will make sure that any deal we get with the EU will be scrutinised in the House of Commons at a later date. And MPs will be given a say in whether to accept the deal or not.

When will this happen?

As soon as we get a deal with the European Union, the Bill will be brought to the Commons. If all goes to plan, it could be around October 2018 – before the European Parliament vote on it.

Why do we need a new Bill?

Because Tory rebels were threatening to vote against the Government this week and try and force them to agree to putting a final vote into the EU Withdrawal Bill. There were said to be enough Tories willing to back an amendment – but now this will be withdrawn.

So will the EU Withdrawal Bill now go through the Commons easily this week, without any hiccups?

Probably not, there are still likely to be some bumps along the way. The vote on the final deal was one of the major stalling points, but there are hundreds of other amendments that MPs have tabled, to try and put parts of Brexit in law.

What happens if there is no deal with the EU?

Then there will be no Withdrawal Agreement Implementation Bill. We will leave the EU in March 2019 with no deal. There will be no vote on a ‘no deal’ scenario.

What happens if MPs vote down the final deal?

Then we will leave the EU in March 2019 with no deal. Mr Davis was clear that the result of referendum will be implemented.” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter

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