British MPs to vote on landmark Brexit bill


LONDON (DNA) – British MPs will vote Wednesday on a key Brexit bill whose turbulent passage through parliament has dealt damaging defeats to Prime Minister Theresa May, and which still faces stiff opposition in the upper house. The House of Commons is expected to pass the bill, which will incorporate thousands of pieces of EU legislation into the British statute books and repeal the legislation enshrining Britain’s EU membership. Eleven members of May’s Conservative party joined with opposition lawmakers last month to approve an amendment making sure that parliament will have a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal.

Fearful of another loss, the government also compromised on an amendment setting the date and time for Brexit as March 29, 2019, at 2300 GMT.

May agreed to give MPs the “power to amend the definition of ‘exit day’ to a later date” if it appeared that negotiations would overrun.

The flagship EU (Withdrawal) Bill, if approved, will pass to the upper House of Lords, where it will undergo further scrutiny from the largely pro-EU chamber before being put to another vote.

Veteran Tory MP Kenneth Clarke, a strident europhile, said on Tuesday that the House of Lords could make alterations to the bill.

“The idea that the bill… is going to have an untroubled passage through the House of Lords is an illusion,” he said.

“I hope that the other place (Lords) will make an enormous number of changes”.