A No Deal Brexit is Looming on the Horizon

As the Brexit negotiations are becoming more and more fraught, the No Deal scenario is increasingly looming on the horizon. There’s no secret that time is starting to run out- not only to conclude a deal with the EU but also to allow for Parliamentary approval of the deal (through to the so-called ‘meaningful vote’) and to subsequently pass the necessary legislation to give effect to the withdrawal agreement reached with the EU- all before March 2019.

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Malene Bratlie
Parliament jets off before Autumn crunchtime

Another week in Brexit land is over. MPs have finally gone on recess and won’t be back until early September. Not that the final week of MPs sitting wasn’t eventful - the Government is stepping up its preparations for a no deal Brexit, Dominic Raab sat through a three-hour grilling session from the Commons Brexit Committee, and the Supreme Court case on the Scottish Parliament’s Brexit Bill began this week.

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Malene Bratlie
Another week of chaos

They say a week is a long time in politics but this week must have felt like an eternity for Prime Minister May. No sooner had she got through the hurdle of Cabinet acceptance of her White Paper than she was faced with significant resignations from her Cabinet and from the Department leading on Brexit (DExEU). If that was not enough the deep divisions within both the Government and the Tory Party were exposed with the knife edge votes on the Trade Bill and the prospect of an early recess to stop any chance of a leadership challenge. And top of that, Bloomberg reminds us that there is still quite a lot to be settled before Brexit

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Malene Bratlie
Not with a bang but a whimper- the EU Withdrawal Bill has completed its bumpy ride through Parliament

The EU Withdrawal Bill is now just about to become law, after debates in the Lords on Monday and the Commons on Wednesday. The Bill has been improved in many respects on its way through Parliament – the scope for Henry VIII powers has been reduced, the devolution power grab is less severe, there are some safeguards for environmental protection, and various legal points have been clarified. None of these changes goes as far as we wanted and there is still a lot wrong with the Bill.

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Malene Bratlie
Tensions heighten as MPs threaten to take back control

Tensions have certainly been running high this week with return of  the EU Withdrawal Bill returned to the Commons. And yet when confronted with possibly one of the most important pieces of legislation in 40 years Parliament allocated hardly any time for meaningful debate and scrutiny of the Lords amendments. Crucial issues around devolution and the Irish border amendment were given just 15 minutes of debate.

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Malene Bratlie
Leadsom: Withdrawal Bill to return to the Commons in “weeks not months”

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom made her usual business statement today. News had been swirling last night that the EU Withdrawal Bill was going to be brought back to the House of Commons for ping pong in the next fortnight and that MPs had been ordered to cancel all leave. This was a surprising turnaround, as previous rumours had been that the bill may have been put on hold while the government got its house in order. 

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Malene Bratlie
Another week of defeats for the Government in the House of Lords

This has been another week of defeats for the Government in the House of Lords- making it 10 in total. There are still opportunities to inflict further defeats on the Government on Tuesday 8th May (final day of Report) when amendments 95 and 99 that remove the time and date of exit day plus amendments on scrutiny and delegated legislation will be debated.

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Malene Bratlie
Lords defeat the Government on fundamental rights & enhanced scrutiny

Yesterday saw the first Government defeat in the Lords as peers accepted a cross-party amendment to restrict ministers from weakening fundamental protections like employment, equality rights and environmental standards. We urged peers to support this amendment in our briefing ahead of Report, and alliance members have played a crucial role in advocating for rights, protections and parliamentary scrutiny. Well done to peers from all parties, who refused to accept the Government handing itself unlimited powers that threaten our rights and standards

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Malene Bratlie