Fri, 30 September 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
How Jersey Adds Value to the Global Economy Partner content
By Jersey Finance
Communities
Culture
Brexit
Brexit
Brexit
Press releases

Theresa May pledges to enshrine EU withdrawal date in law to 'stop Brexit rebels'

Theresa May pledges to enshrine EU withdrawal date in law to 'stop Brexit rebels'

Agnes Chambre

3 min read

Theresa May has pledged today she will enshrine the Brexit date in law, in a bid to stop MPs trying to “block” leaving the EU.


Last night, the Government tabled an amendment which commits Britain to leaving at 11pm on 29 March next year.

Mrs May urged parties to “come together” over Brexit bill but warned against any Remain-supporting MPs to use the legislation to slow down exit from the EU. 

The amendment would force any pro-European MPs to come out publicly against the bill in March 2019. 

It would also prevent any Tory MPs from siding with opposition parties in trying to vote down the final Brexit deal.

The move comes follows a tumultuous eight days for Mrs May in which she has lost two Cabinet ministers, Priti Patel and Michael Fallon. 

The Government has also been rocked after a gaffe by Boris Johnson left British national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe at risk of serving five more years in an Iranian jail.

Damian Green, the Prime Minister's de facto deputy, is also under investigation over claims he sexually harassed a female journalist, and that pornography was found on his work computer during a police raid in 2008. He denies both allegations.

On top of this, Brexit negotiations appear to remain deadlocked following the sixth round of talks this week. 

Writing in today's Daily Telegraph, Mrs May said: "We will not tolerate attempts from any quarter to use the process of amendments to this Bill as a mechanism to try to block the democratic wishes of the British people by attempting to slow down or stop our departure from the European Union.

"The British people have been clear. Parliament itself voted for Article 50 - and for this Bill at its Second Reading. We are leaving the European Union on 29th March 2019."

She added:  "Let no-one doubt our determination or question our resolve, Brexit is happening. 

"It will be there in black and white on the front page of this historic piece of legislation. The EU Withdrawal Bill is the single most significant piece of legislation in this Parliament because it is fundamental to delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit."

Brexit Secretary David Davis added: “Our amendment makes it crystal clear that the UK is leaving the EU at 11pm on March 29 2019.

"We've listened to members of the public and Parliament and have made this change to remove any confusion or concern about what 'exit day' means." 

Open Britain, a pro European think tank, said the move looked like “window dressing” from a “desperate Government”. 

Spokesman James McGrory said: “Though it is positive that Ministers will not be able to unilaterally decide the day we leave the EU, the Withdrawal Bill is full of further hidden nasties that must be similarly dealt with for the House of Commons to even consider passing it.

“This makes it all the more important that the British people can keep an open mind about Brexit, and that Ministers acknowledge that Article 50 can be withdrawn, and that the option for the public to make a choice at the end of this process remains.

“This looks like window dressing from a Government desperate to look like they are making progress on Brexit while the negotiations remain firmly stuck in the mud.”

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Agnes Chambre - Confusion among Labour's top team as senior figures disagree over second EU referendum

Categories

Brexit
Podcast
Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now