world news EU withdrawal bill: What challenges await the government?

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Big Ben and an EU flag

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After being defeated 15 occasions within the Home of Lords, the Brexit invoice – or EU Withdrawal Invoice to offer it its formal title – will return to the Home of Commons subsequent Tuesday.

It is set to be a marathon session, with as much as 12 hours of debate.

With a lot to cram in, what potential flashpoints and challenges will the federal government need to face?

What’s it?

The Invoice is an important piece of laws that may repeal the 1972 European Communities Act (which took the UK into what was then referred to as the European Group) and replica all current EU laws into UK regulation with a purpose to stop chaos on the day we go away.

It has additionally supplied Parliament with a possibility to form the course Brexit will take.

As an illustration, in December 2017, MPs voted to amend the Invoice and guarantee Parliament has a authorized assure of a vote on the ultimate Brexit deal struck with Brussels. The Invoice then went to the Home of Lords the place friends defeated the federal government one other 15 occasions and voted for their very own modifications to the Invoice.

Now, within the last stage of the Withdrawal Invoice’s passage via Parliament, these modifications will probably be thought-about by MPs in a rammed day of probably dramatic votes on 12 June.

Why dramatic?

As a result of if sufficient Tory MPs resolve to vote with Labour and different opposition events, the federal government might be defeated on a number of key votes.

Theresa Could’s tiny working majority within the Commons is barely 14 and that depends on the assist of Northern Eire’s Democratic Unionist get together and their 10 MPs.

Final December, 11 Conservative MPs voted with opposition events to defeat the federal government by solely 4 votes and the query is what number of will accomplish that subsequent week.

Quantity 10 has insisted it needs to overturn the Lords amendments, however it may wrestle with two of them specifically that cope with Parliament’s position on the finish of the Brexit negotiations and the UK’s future customs preparations.

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Theresa Could will attend the EU Summit on 28 June

What is the customs proposal?

Whereas the Cupboard has been making an attempt – and struggling to date – to work out a proposal to place to the EU on the UK’s future buying and selling relationship, Parliament has been doing its personal considering.

The Home of Lords stated ministers ought to take steps to barter a brand new customs union with the EU – one thing Quantity 10 has dominated out.

Friends handed an modification requiring the federal government to exhibit to Parliament by October that it had tried to barter a customs union.

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Media captionThe customs union defined in 45 seconds

Remaining in such an association after Brexit is now Labour’s place and a variety of Tory MPs (in all probability greater than the 11 who rebelled in December) are sympathetic to the argument {that a} new customs union might be the easiest way of decreasing border friction after Brexit.

The query is whether or not they insurgent towards the federal government on Tuesday or wait till after the European Council summit later this month, once they might attempt to amend the Commerce Invoice as a substitute.

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The federal government suffered 15 defeats within the Home of Lords

A defeat for Mrs Could on this subsequent week will surely be a blow for the federal government however it will not bind its negotiating hand.

The fuzziness of the modification’s wording may imply the federal government simply accepts it and geese the potential of defeat.

Nevertheless, that will additionally amplify the sense there may be presently a gap the place the federal government’s personal customs plan must be.

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What in regards to the single market?

Friends did vote to maintain the UK within the European Financial Space (EEA) after Brexit, much like Norway’s association with the EU – which is to be within the single market (and settle for obligations just like the free motion of individuals and paying in the direction of the EU price range) however not within the EU’s customs union.

Once more, it is a huge pink line for the federal government which insists the UK will go away the one market.

Ministers must be assured of overturning this within the Commons as a result of the Labour management is against EEA membership and accepting continued free motion of individuals.

Nevertheless, we’re prone to see a variety of MPs equivalent to Labour’s Chuka Umunna and the the Conservative Anna Soubry be a part of forces to vote for this modification.

Tuesday will give an excellent sense of how efficient cross-party co-operation is amongst Stay-supporting MPs who argue Parliament should hold the UK as shut as attainable to the EU after Brexit.

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The Labour management will hope its new modification will restrict the rebel amongst its personal ranks

However hasn’t Labour put down its personal modification on the one market?

It has, calling on ministers to barter a brand new “single-market deal” to make sure “full entry” to the EU’s inside market.

Labour hopes this may ship a sign to voters that it will attempt to bind the UK way more carefully to the one market than the federal government.

However Labour’s management additionally hopes this new modification will restrict the rebel amongst its ranks on the Lords’ European Financial Space (EEA) modification.

Labour will whip its MPs to abstain on that vote however we might nonetheless see dozens of Jeremy Corbyn’s crew again the “Norway choice” of single market membership as a result of they do not assume their get together’s new modification quantities to a lot.

For a begin, Conservative MPs would by no means vote for a proposal put ahead by the Labour entrance bench.

Secondly, they argue that collaborating within the EEA is the one method to acquire membership of the one market and that anything is merely posturing.

Labour is navigating its personal inside divisions over Brexit.

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Conservative chief whip Julian Smith wrote to MPs to tell them when the votes would happen

Which modification is the federal government fretting about most?

Most likely the one which beefs up Parliament’s position when the negotiations with the EU have completed. MPs have already stated there should be a “significant vote” however the which means of that is not clear.

The federal government says it will likely be a take it or go away it second for Parliament to both settle for or reject the deal on the desk.

However the Lords modification would give Parliament the facility to cease the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal and provides the Home of Commons the correct to resolve what plan of action the federal government ought to then take.

How that will work in apply stays unclear but when the Commons approves this modification subsequent week it will be an enormous setback for Quantity 10 and proof that Parliament is taking higher management over Brexit.

However Brexiteers would see the identical end result as threatening to weaken Mrs Could’s negotiating hand with Brussels forward of the EU Summit.

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