Could Theresa May face opposition from her party — EU Withdrawal Bill

Letters MPs who delay the Brexit process will harm our chances of a good deal

Letters MPs who delay the Brexit process will harm our chances of a good deal

15 Conservative MPs who plan to vote against the government on an amendment to the withdrawal bill have been labelled "mutineers".

Pro-EU ex-minister Anna Soubry, described it as a "blatant piece of bullying that goes to the very heart of democracy".

Media captionWhat's going on with the EU Withdrawal Bill?

The Prime Minister has at least 15 backbenchers siding with a Labour attempts to stop the Brexit date being locked into law.

The Committee stage of the Withdrawal Bill, where MPs propose amendments, and the details of parliamentary bills are thrashed out, will take place today and tomorrow.

The rebel group in question includes former education secretary Nicky Morgan, former chancellor Kenneth Clarke and former attorney general Dominic Grieve.

Ministers want to set exit day as 2300 GMT on March 29, 2019.

The front page itself became a subject of discussion in Parliament, when one of those named by the newspaper blamed it for triggering threatening tweets that have now been referred to police.

"As the European Union withdrawal plans go through the House of Commons, does the PM agree with me that its part of our job as MPs to scrutinise that legislation, to debate considered amendments which seek to improve the bill, which are constructive and which seek to ensure we have a smooth transition of our laws from the European Union to the UK".

It passed at second reading, meaning MPs agree with it in principle, but will now be reshaped to make sure it works and try and make it pass in the House of Lords.

The government comfortably won the first five votes on amendments to the bill with majorities around 20, despite all the main opposition parties voting against them.

This problem is about to be brought into sharp focus as the centrepiece of the government's legislative programme for Brexit, the EU Withdrawal Bill, returns to parliament this week.

The MP also said for MPs vote against repealing the European Communities Act 1972 "would effectively be completely contradicting and reserving their position".

He said: "I can only see downsides in terms of the government losing control of one of the levers it could use to control the negotiations".

Keir Starmer, Labour's chief Brexit spokesman, said the proposal was "a significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat".

He said: "The government's amendments to their own Bill would stand in the way of an orderly transition and increase the chance of Britain crashing out of Europe without an agreement".

As she faced the House of Commons for her weekly Prime Ministers Questions, May also defended the right of her Conservative party MPs to express their disagreements over the crucial EU Withdrawal Bill, a key part of the United Kingdom governments strategy for leaving the European Union following last years referendum in favour of Brexit.

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