Theresa May has been fighting to keep her Brexit plans on track despite a Cabinet row over proposals for the Irish border and a potential revolt in the Commons. The UK’s proposals for a “backstop” arrangement for the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland are to be published “shortly”, although Brexit Secretary David Davis understood to have concerns about some of the details.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said there is still time to secure an agreement on vital Brexit legislation as UK Ministers were urged to come to Scotland to hear Holyrood’s concerns. The First Minister told MSPs the Scottish Government was continuing to press the UK Government to listen to the concerns of the Scottish Parliament over the EU Withdrawal Bill.
The marathon bill paving the way for Britain to leave the European Union passed a crucial stage in the House of Commons on Wednesday night. With support of 324 MPs, and the opposition of 295 MPs, a government majority of just 29, the bill for Exiting the EU aims to convert all European law into British law.
The British 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 finalized.
There will be no Brexit at all unless Theresa May is supported, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned saying it was not about a choice between this Brexit and that Brexit. He was speaking as leading Brexit campaigners issued demands for Mrs May before agreeing any payments to the EU, including ending the European court's jurisdiction the moment the UK leaves.
The two-day British Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London ended on Wednesday with a communiqué underlining self determination, (plus commitment to counter hostile sovereignty claims), constitutional relationship, disaster recovery, --following the sweeping damages caused by hurricanes--, tax transparency and Brexit.
British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted on Wednesday there is still no agreement on the UK's Brexit bill despite reports British officials have committed up to £50bn to the EU. British newspapers reported on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached on the divorce bill and mentioned 50bn Euros.
The Brexit deal covering “withdrawal” issues will only hold if it is approved by MPs and peers in a new piece of legislation to put it into British law, David Davis has said. The Brexit Secretary announced a Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill, which MPs will be able to amend, to cover areas such as citizens’ rights, the so-called divorce bill and a transition period.
The UK Government’s plans for Brexit are “in paralysis”, Labour claimed amid speculation crucial legislation will be delayed again. Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said there was “chaos at the heart of Government” over the approach to leaving the European Union.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has insisted he is a credible candidate to be the next prime minister. Despite heading a party with just 12 MPs, Sir Vince said he could replace Theresa May in Downing Street.