Landmark Brexit Bill passed


On Wednesday (17 January) it was easily defeated by 322 votes to 99, but 48 Labour MPs ignored pleas by their whips to abstain and joined forces with MPs from the Liberal Democrats and SNP. A single Tory MP, Ken Clarke, voted with the rebels.

Some 48 Labour MPs, including former Labour Cabinet ministers and ex-members of his own frontbench, backed a bid to keep Britain in the single market and customs union after Brexit.

These included former shadow transport minister Daniel Zeichner, and other former front benchers like Chris Bryant, Ben Bradshaw and Chuka Umunna.

A cross-party amendment supported by the SNP and Liberal Democrats that would have tied the Withdrawal Bill to keeping the United Kingdom in the European single market fell after Labour ordered its MPs to abstain.

Three of the party's Brexiteers - Frank Field (Birkenhead), Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), and Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton) - voted with the Government against the amendment.

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Flagship Brexit legislation was passed through parliament, although Theresa May was warned that it could be undone by future generations, The Independent reports.

He said Labour had "repeatedly" pointed out "six serious defects in the Bill", and said: "But we have been talking to a brick wall". When they take their place here they will seek to improve or undo what we've done and make it work for them.

"They have simply, robotically voted down all opposition amendments". The SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the unamended bill was "a constitutional outrage".

Overall the third reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was supported by 324 votes to 295 - giving a majority of 29.