BRITAIN will still be under EU law, even after it has left the European Union on October 31, according to new reports. Britons will still have to follow EU rulings made by judges on the European Court of Justice, despite having voted to leave the EU, and doing so on October 31. The Withdrawal Agreement bill will replace the European Communities Act 1972. The Act put into effect the UK’s membership of the European Economic Community. However, the Act “continues to have effect in domestic law” during the Brexit transition period. The Government published the bill – which is 110 pages long with a further 124 pages of explanatory notes – last night in the Commons. MPs are now concerned that the EU could pass new laws during the transition period, as dictated by the Act.
Britons will be subject to the rulings made by judges on the European Court of Justice despite leaving the European Union at the end of Oct 31. The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill makes clear that it replaces the European Communities Act 1972 which gave effect to the UK’s membership of the European Economic Community. However it also makes clear that the Act, which means that the UK is subject to the ECJ, “continues to have effect in domestic law”.
Boris Johnson is to seek to fast-track legislation to ratify his Brexit deal through the Commons in just three days as he attempts to avoid another delay to Britain’s departure from the EU. Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs debate on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) would start on Tuesday with ministers hoping to get it through all its Commons stages by Thursday. If they are successful it could pave the way for House of Lords to sit over the weekend in time for the Bill to receive its royal assent at the start of next week.
Boris Johnson has published his 110-page Brexit Withdrawal Bill just hours before MPs will debate it in a desperate Commons battle starting on ‘Titanic Tuesday.’ The Prime Minister hopes to speed his Brexit deal through the Commons in just three days as he attempts to avoid another delay and take Britain out of the EU by October 31. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) is accompanied by another 124 pages of explanatory notes. MPs are to start debating its provisions on Tuesday afternoon and finish their work on Thursday. The opposition parties said this left too little time for proper scrutiny.
John Bercow denied Boris Johnson the chance to rule out a further Brexit extension yesterday by stopping the government from putting its Brexit deal to parliament again. In a setback for the prime minister the Speaker ruled that an attempt by ministers to give MPs another chance to approve the withdrawal agreement in principle was “repetitive and disorderly”. The government was defeated in its first attempt to hold such a vote in the Commons on Saturday when an amendment tabled by Sir Oliver Letwin was approved.
Boris Johnson’s Halloween deadline for Brexit is in peril with MPs poised to rebel against his drive to force a 110-page ratification bill through the House of Commons in just three days. And the prime minister’s Brexit deal itself could be killed off on Tuesday, if MPs deny his Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) a second reading in its first real test in parliament. Mr Johnson failed in a bid to secure MPs’ approval of the withdrawal agreement on Monday, after speaker John Bercow rejected his “unreasonable” plea to re-run the debate which led to humiliating defeat for the PM on Saturday.
Boris Johnson is expected to abandon Brexit legislation in Parliament rather than accept a customs union or second referendum, rebel MPs were warned on Monday night. Ministers are hoping to force Brexit legislation through the Commons by Thursday evening in an attempt to leave the EU by the end of the month. But John Bercow on Monday blocked a government attempt to hold a “clean” yes or no vote on whether MPs back the deal, seen as crucial in building the momentum needed to get it through Parliament in time for an Oct 31 exit.
Boris Johnson faces a crucial vote on his Brexit deal today as MPs decide whether to fast-track it through the Commons in time to leave the European Union on October 31. MPs will start debating legislation implementing the new agreement with the EU after the 110-page withdrawal agreement bill was published for the first time last night and given a first reading. The bill is all but certain to clear its first hurdle today because Labour is set to abstain on a vote on a second reading.
Boris Johnson’s allies say the country is headed for a Brexit delay and a general election if his withdrawal deal is watered down or blocked by MPs on Tuesday. Many at the top of Johnson’s government are confident that they have the numbers to defeat opposition amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) attempting to add a customs union to the prime minister’s deal or put it to a confirmatory referendum. They believe it is possible for the deal to get through the House of Commons relatively unscathed and for the UK leave the EU on Oct. 31, or a few weeks after, following a technical extension for ratification purposes. However, those in government are increasingly worried that they will lose a vote on the programme motion tomorrow — which outlines the timetable to pass the Brexit legislation through Parliament. If the programme motion is lost, it becomes extremely difficult for the government to get the legislation through by the Oct. 31 deadline. This would inevitably lead to Johnson asking the EU for another Brexit extension, in order to have a general election.
A RAINBOW alliance of Remain MPs, Labour and rebel Tories was last night forming in a desperate final bid to shoot down Boris Johnson’s EU deal and delay Brexit. In a landmark moment, MPs will vote for the first time on the new law that will take Britain out of the EU, with the new agreement in place. The Government announced a breakneck timetable of just three days for the key bill to clear all its Commons stages. The PM issued a plea to all MPs saying: “Let’s get Brexit done on October 31 and move on.” But the Withdrawal Agreement Bill faces potential pitfalls to stop it from clearing Parliament in time for the exit deadline of October 31. Details buried in the 110-page bill document is riddled with potential hurdles for the Government.
BORIS JOHNSON last night urged MPs to let the country “move on” from Brexit by backing his bid to rush his EU departure deal through the Commons in just three days. In an appeal on the eve of a crunch vote on legislation designed to ratify the agreement, the Prime Minister insisted voters did not want any more delays the process of leaving the bloc. He was hopeful that MPs will today vote in favour of the principle behind the long-awaited EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill as a first step towards completing its Commons scrutiny by Friday. But backbenchers yesterday hit out at the fast-track process.
Anti-Brexit Members of Parliament are outraged the government wants them to vote more than once on Brexit after they gave the wrong answer the first time — an ironic position given the determined push to have a second referendum on whether to leave the European Union, as one Brexiteer member pointed out Monday afternoon. Parliament was to vote on whether to accept Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new and improved Brexit ‘deal’ with the European Union Saturday afternoon, but a wrecking amendment led to the government withdrawing the motion and a second being chalked in for Monday afternoon.
Boris Johnson will offer MPs a vote on the customs union after Britain leaves the European Union to try to see off a Labour attempt to thwart his Brexit deal. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) will include the provision to give Parliament a say in negotiations over the future relationship with the EU. MPs are expected to have a say on whether they want the customs union to be part of that.
Opponents of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal are preparing to table a series of wrecking amendments to sabotage his EU withdrawal legislation. Opposition parties have held informal talks about which amendments have the best chance of uniting soft Brexiteers with supporters of a second referendum to defeat the government. They hope that the amendments will scupper the prime minister’s chances of getting the deal approved by the House of Commons at the Withdrawal Agreement Bill’s third reading this week.
Boris Johnson could win a historic Commons vote on his Brexit deal today, but still have it knocked off course by MPs determined to delay Britain’s exit from the EU. Downing Street was increasingly confident last night that MPs would finally give their approval to Mr Johnson’s deal on today’s ‘Titanic Tuesday’, when Parliament votes on legislation to ratify the agreement with the EU. But there was growing alarm in No 10 that MPs will then try to tear up the Prime Minister’s fast-track timetable for pushing the deal through, in the hope that the EU will agree to delay Brexit for months.
Senior Labour figures said yesterday that the newly published Brexit bill broke promises made to MPs in their party — as well as to hardline Tory Eurosceptics. The 110-page European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill suggests that workers’ rights granted by the EU could be stripped away if ministers want to abandon them, leading trade unions to attack pledges to protect them as “meaningless”. The bill also makes clear that the EU will continue to have supremacy over British law after Brexit day.
A shadow minister is expected to launch legal action against the Labour Party on Tuesday, in a bitter row over the selection of a candidate for West Midlands Mayor. ITV News understands that Naz Shah, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, will begin a legal dispute with her own party over the shortlisting of Salma Yaqoob. Ms Yaqoob is the former leader of the Respect Party and ran as an independent candidate against Naz Shah in Bradford West in 2017. The Labour MP claims Ms Yaqoob ran a “despicable” campaign against her, allegedly attacking her ‘honour’ and class, which Ms Shah says led her to consider suicide.
European leaders today made clear they will grant an extension if Boris Johnson‘s deal falls – as Nicola Sturgeon demanded they make it long enough to hold a second referendum. German finance minister Peter Altmaier suggested the bloc will ignore the PM’s plea for it to shun a delay and allow the UK to leave at Halloween. Meanwhile, the Scottish First Minister and her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford issued the plea in a joint letter to European Council president Donald Tusk. They warned it is ‘simply impossible’ to scrutinise the legislation implementing the Withdrawal Agreement in the 10 days left before the departure date.
Germany’s economic affairs minister has wholeheartedly backed the option of a Brexit extension beyond 31 October, as the European parliament pulled plans to hold a vote on Boris Johnson’s deal this week. Peter Altmaier, a key ally of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said he believed a technical extension would be offered to allow extra time for legislation to pass or a longer period to accommodate a general election or second referendum. “We have already twice agreed to an extension. I have repeatedly said as my own opinion I am not ideologically opposed to extending again a few days or a few weeks if you then get a good solution that excludes a hard Brexit,” Altmaier said.
Boris Johnson’s attempt to block a Brexit delay by not signing his extension letter properly “doesn’t change anything” about the request, Brussels has said. A European Commission spokesperson told reporters in Brussels that the request counted officially, despite Mr Johnson sending an unsigned photocopy in an attempt to circumvent the Benn Act, which forced him to request a delay. The comments come as a top ally of Angela Merkel said “it goes without saying” that the EU should grant the request.
John Bercow could face bullying claims going back several years after Parliamentary authorities opened a formal complaints process just 10 days before he quits as Speaker. Any findings against the Speaker could jeopardise his expected elevation to the House of Lords, following the precedent set by other retiring Speakers of the House of Commons to become “cross-bench” independent peers. The Commons authorities said in a statement that “Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme is now open to receive complaints from any member of the parliamentary community, present or former, who wishes to make a complaint about bullying, harassment or sexual harassment, that occurred at any point.
British firms selling into Northern Ireland will be hit with a barrage of red tape and higher costs under Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, government documents confirm. Analysis slipped online late tonight confirms British firms will have to fill out at least two customs forms for goods traded west across the Irish Sea. This will lead to “additional administrative costs” on goods moving from east to west – estimated at around £15 to £56 per customs declaration. Separately firms will also face fees of at least 55 Euros (£47) at border inspection posts when sending “products of animal origin” from Britain to Northern Ireland.
Stephen Barclay is under fire after revealing Northern Ireland businesses will be forced to fill out export declaration forms when sending goods to Britain under Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. The Brexit secretary’s admission led to claims the government was breaching its commitments to allow “unfettered access” to the GB market for firms in Northern Ireland with new bureaucracy. Appearing in front of the House of Lords European Union committee, Mr Barclay initially said he did not believe the forms would be necessary as trade would be “frictionless”.
Businesses in Northern Ireland will have to fill in EU paperwork when sending goods to Great Britain, the government admitted yesterday. Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, was forced to correct himself, having told a committee of peers that trade with the rest of the UK would be “frictionless” without need for declarations. Under a compromise arrangement struck by Boris Johnson, Northern Ireland would be legally part of the UK’s customs arrangements but in practical terms apply the EU system. Sammy Wilson, the Brexit spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party, which has refused to back Mr Johnson’s deal, asked: “How can any Conservative and Unionist MP argue this does not represent a border in the Irish Sea?”
Northern Ireland is to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage after an 11th-hour attempt by the region’s assembly to block change collapsed into farce. Equality campaigners celebrated on Monday as the clock ticked towards midnight when laws extending abortion and marriage rights came into force, ushering in momentous social change as Northern Ireland aligned with the rest of the UK. Anti-abortion groups led by the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) tried to avert liberalisation by recalling the mothballed chamber at Stormont for the first time in almost three years. But discord and walkouts stymied debate and left the assembly deserted.
UKIP has suspended its leader and three other members after they were accused of stealing data from the party. An email to all members from chairman Kirstan Herriot said she was “forced to take serious action” against Richard Braine, Tony Sharp, Jeff Armstrong and Mark Dent. This included reporting them to Action Fraud – though it is not yet known if the police body will investigate. But Mr Braine denied the allegations, saying the “whole thing was absurd”. Mr Braine – who has led the UK Independence Party since August – told the BBC the incident centred around sending emails.
Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex marriage ban and restrictions on abortion will come to an end at the stroke of midnight tonight. Campaigners who have fought for decades celebrated the historic changes today as a last-ditch bid to block them ended in chaos and acrimony. Tonight the UK government confirmed a framework for legal abortion services in Northern Ireland will be in place by 31 March 2020. And same-sex marriage regulations will be made no later than 13 January 2020. Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith declared: “This means, at the latest, the first civil same-sex marriages will take place on the week of Valentine’s Day 2020.”
Pro-choice campaigners in Northern Ireland have celebrated “an historic moment”, as abortion and same-sex marriage become legal for the first time. Grainne Teggert, from Amnesty UK, told Sky News: “It marks the end of inequality both for same sex couples who have long wanted to marry the person they love, and also for women who have been suffering at the hands of our abortion ban. “And it brings Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK”.
Pro-choice campaigners claimed a victory yesterday as chaos at Stormont ensured that a last-minute attempt to thwart the liberalisation of Northern Irish abortion law failed. Terminations within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, previously banned in almost all circumstances, including rape and incest, became legal at midnight last night. As activists celebrated the end of a law that has forced thousands of women to seek abortions abroad or in other parts of the UK, or to buy pills online, Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, called it a shameful day.
Drivers of electric cars could be given green number plates that allow them to use bus lanes and park for free. The scheme is part of a £1.5 billion drive to boost sales of electric vehicles. Town halls will be encouraged to grant incentives to cars with the green plates, such as free or cheaper parking. Three designs are being considered, the most radical of which is an all-green plate. If approved, it will be the first major change in plate design since 1969, when silver-on-black plates were replaced with today’s yellow and white reflective versions.