UK gov­ern­ment finds ma­jor­ity of 36 to pass EU with­drawal bill

The Daily News Egypt - - International -

DW—The Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment has won a late night vote in par­lia­ment on with­drawal from the Euro­pean Union.A few op­po­si­tion votes and ab­sten­tions pre­vented a gov­ern­ment de­feat, de­spite its lack of over­all ma­jor­ity.

The Euro­pean Union (With­drawal) Bill aims to con­vert around 12,000 EU laws and reg­u­la­tions into UK do­mes­tic laws on the day Bri­tain leaves the bloc in March 2019.

Af­ter an eight-hour de­bate on Mon­day,the House of Com­mons voted 326290 in fa­vor of the bill’s sec­ond read­ing, which al­lows it to pass to the next stage of the par­lia­men­tary process.

Ear­lier in the day,Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis said “a vote against this bill is a vote for a chaotic exit from the Euro­pean Union.”

“The Bri­tish peo­ple did not vote for con­fu­sion and nei­ther should Par­lia­ment,” he said.

Wel­com­ing the vote, Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May is­sued a state­ment: “Although there is more to do,this de­ci­sion means we can move on with ne­go­ti­a­tions with solid foun­da­tions and we con­tinue to en­cour­age MPs (law­mak­ers) from all parts of the UK to work to­gether in sup­port of this vi­tal piece of leg­is­la­tion.”

The bill goes into the com­mit­tee stage where each el­e­ment of the bill will be scru­ti­nised be­fore it goes to the House of Lords for its con­sid­er­a­tion be­fore com­ing back for a fur­ther vote in the House of Com­mons.

Min­is­te­rial pow­ers

The bill pro­poses the broad use of ex­ist­ing “Henry VIII pow­ers” that al­low min­is­ters to amend leg­is­la­tion with­out full par­lia­men­tary scru­tiny.

Op­po­nents of the bill likened it to a “power grab” by the gov­ern­ment, giv­ing min­is­ters pow­ers to amend what are de­scribed as “de­fi­cien­cies” in EU law.

Labour law­maker Wayne David told the House of Com­mons the bill was “poorly thought out, com­plex and un­demo­cratic ... a power grab by this gov­ern­ment.”

Some crit­ics have gone so far as to com­pare the bill to the 1933 En­abling Act in Ger­many which gave Chan­cel­lor Adolf Hitler’s cab­i­net the power to en­act laws with­out the in­volve­ment of the Re­ich­stag.

Oth­ers are con­cerned the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment could use such pow­ers to wa­ter down en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards, em­ploy­ment reg­u­la­tions or hu­man rights pro­tec­tions.

The main op­po­si­tion Labour Party and smaller Lib­eral Democrats said they would vote against the EU with­drawal bill but to win the vote they needed sup­port from pro-EU law­mak­ers in the gov­ern­ing Con­ser­va­tives.

The Con­ser­va­tive Party formed a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment and signed a“con­fi­dence and sup­ply” agree­ment with North­ern Ire­land’s Demo­cratic Union­ist Party for its ten mem­bers to vote with it on key is­sues.

Anti-Brexit de­mon­stra­tors gath­ered out­side the par­lia­men­tary build­ing

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