As you may have heard, last night the Government suffered a serious defeat on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill as MPs from across the House came together to vote for Amendment 7.
Amendment 7 to Clause 9, tabled by Conservative MP, Dominic Grieve, requires any deal the Government arrive at with the EU to go through Parliament as a separate piece of legislation. This, of course, is completely standard Parliamentary procedure and will allow MPs to debate and vote on the legislation. The Government had initially wanted to use so-called Henry VIII powers to put Brexit into effect without giving MPs a say on the detail.
The exact detail and timings are yet to be worked out but I am pleased to have voted last night for Parliament to take back control. I was a lead signatory on the amendment and was happy to work across party lines to get this amendment through. You can watch yesterday’s debate here.
As you can see below the vote was extremely narrow. None of the Scottish Conservative MPs voted with us despite previously promising they would support Parliament’s right to have its say.
The Bill is still in Committee Stage and next week we will vote on the Government’s ludicrous amendment which attempts to write the leaving date onto the face of the Withdrawal Bill. I hope the Conservative rebels will again join with us to stop the Government shackling itself to an exact date and time for departure.
Furthermore, the Government’s defeat shows there is no majority in the House of Commons for the hard-Brexit the Government has been pursuing thus far. I hope this defeat will cause the Prime Minister to rethink her approach however, if the her response to the recent General Election is anything to go by, I am not optimistic.
As always I will continue to push for retained membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union and strive to keep you updated on any future developments.