Saturday, 23 June, 2018

United Kingdom justice minister resigns ahead of key Brexit debate

Brexit news- Nina Schick and Anna Soubry BLOOMBERG•LBCBrexit news Nina Schick said MPs could take more control if no deal is struck by October
Deanna Wagner | 13 June, 2018, 05:47

Lee's resignation came as May's fragile minority government scrambled to shore up support among lawmakers before two days of debate and votes in the House of Commons on its flagship Brexit bill.

Parliament will vote Tuesday on a key piece of legislation, the E.U. Withdrawal bill, that would transfer European Union laws now on British books into British law after Brexit.

Protesters outside the UK Parliament in central London. "It enables parliament to dictate to the government their course of action in worldwide negotiations".

British Prime Minister Theresa May is urging feuding Conservative lawmakers to unite and prevent the government from being defeated in key votes on its main Brexit bill.

"It's not practical, it's not desirable and it's not appropriate", Davis said.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer commented: "This vote was about ensuring parliament was given a proper role in the Brexit negotiations and that we avoid a no deal situation, which is becoming more likely with the divisions at the heart of this government".

A group of backbenchers had been planning to back an alternative amendment spearheaded by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, which would have given MPs a greater say over the Brexit process.

Prior to the votes, the government suffered its first ministerial resignation over Brexit as Phillip Lee quit the Ministry of Justice so he could speak out freely.

A file photograph of justice minister Phillip Lees.

The logic of that argument is that EU negotiator Michel Barnier would prefer the softest of Brexits - a model known as "Norway plus", in which Britain remains in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the customs union, accepting all single market rules, including freedom of movement, and the EU's trade policy without any representation in Brussels.

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The change reduces the likelihood that Britain could leave the European Union without a deal if it does not like the divorce terms.

May says the changes would weaken the government's negotiating position, and the government will try to alter or reverse them in the House of Commons on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rebels had been pushing for an amendment that would have given Parliament unprecedented powers over the final stages of Brexit talks.

The E.U. (Withdrawal) Bill is the draft law that would set the legal framework for Brexit and Ms.

The Prime Minister appeared to have defused a potentially explosive row over the EU customs union on Monday night as Tory pro-Europe rebels Sir Oliver Letwin and Nicky Morgan and Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Sir Bill Cash came together to table a separate compromise amendment backing "a customs arrangement" with the EU.

Brexit protesters outside Parliament House.

A paper laying out the UK government position, due to be published this month, has been delayed because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance.

Parliamentary debates about complex legal amendments rarely rouse much heat, but passions run high over anything to do with Brexit. The Daily Express featured the British flag as its front page with the headline: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

The Democratic Unionist Party has said it will be supporting the government in the votes.

But May won a key vote in parliament on Tuesday with a compromise on plans to give lawmakers a "meaningful" vote later this year on the terms of Britain's exit from the EU.