Brexit repeal bill: Labour fails to defeat Government's EU Withdrawal Bill in 'deeply disappointing' late-night Commons vote

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The Government’s Brexit repeal bill has passed its first Parliamentary test.

MPs have voted to give the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill a second reading by 326 votes to 290, a majority of 36.

The Bill, which will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK, has been debated in the Commons with a vote taking place in the early hours of Tuesday.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had ordered MPs to vote against the legislation, which had been branded a “power grab” by ministers.

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary described the result as “deeply disappointing”.

He said in a statement: “This bill is an affront to parliamentary democracy and a naked power grab by government ministers. It leaves rights unprotected, it silences parliament on key decisions and undermines the devolution settlement.

“It will make the Brexit process more uncertain, and lead to division and chaos when we need unity and clarity.

“Labour will seek to amend and remove the worst aspects from the bill as it passes through parliament. But the flaws are so fundamental it’s hard to see how this bill could ever be made fit for purpose.”

Meanwhile Theresa May said the vote will provide “certainty and clarity” for Brexit

She said: “Earlier this morning parliament took a historic decision to back the will of the British people and vote for a bill which gives certainty and clarity ahead of our withdrawal from the European Union.

“Although there is more to do, this decision means we can move on with negotiations with solid foundations and we continue to encourage MPs from all parts of the UK to work together in support of this vital piece of legislation.”

The EU Withdrawal Bill, previously known as the Great Repeal Bill, overturns the European Communities Act 1972 – which is the legislation underpinning Britain’s membership of the EU.


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