potinsnews.com March 25, 2017

Davis warns peers to fulfil 'patriotic duty' over Brexit bill

10 February 2017, 01:58 | Jamie Ballard

Video Labour shadow minister considers Brexit vote resignation

Clive Lewis hints that he may defy the Labour whip over Brexit

Shadow Business Secretary Clive Lewis resigned from the shadow cabinet and voted against the bill, after none of the amendments put forward by the Labour Party managed to get approved by the Parliament.

Lord Robin Butler, who in December contributed to a gloomy House of Lords committee report on Brexit and financial services, said he now believes its conclusions had been "too pessimistic".

This is all down to a Supreme Court ruling last month that PM May first requires Parliament's permission and the next stage will begin after the Lords returns from recess on 20 February.

"We've seen a historic vote tonight - a big majority for getting on with negotiating our exit from the European Union and a strong, new partnership with its member states", said Brexit minister David Davis.

Bill moves to the Lords where pro-EU peers have vowed to try to amend the draft legislation.

The bill, which gives the United Kingdom govt the authority to trigger Article 5, was last night approved by 494 votes to 122 in the Houser of Commons and now moves to the Lords.

Sir Keir Starmer admits there are Labour divisions over Brexit
Video There are divisions in the Labour party over Brexit

The bill has three primary elements: repealing the European Communities Act 1972; preserving EU law where it stands at the moment before the United Kingdom leaves the EU; and enabling changes to be made by secondary legislation to the laws that would otherwise not function sensibly once the United Kingdom has left the EU.

But her respite from domestic political pressure will be brief, for she prevailed only by promising that Parliament would be granted a bigger say over approving the final separation deal with the EU. Seven other amendments would cover a range of other matters, from Britain's membership of Euratom, a nuclear cooperation agreement, to the rights of European Union citizens resident in Britain.

A number of Labour MPs rebelled against party orders to back the bill. Leader Jeremy Corbyn, said he understood the difficulties the vote presented some of his MPs, but said the party would not block Brexit.

A government source warned the Lords it faces abolition if peers attempt to frustrate the progress of Brexit. Until now, the British Prime Minister's stance was that her lawmakers would be given only a take-it-or-leave-it opportunity to vote on the Brexit deal, and only after the deal is approved by the EU.

The Liberal Democrats have already said their peers will table amendments to the bill.

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