Withdrawal Bill: Ministers being given 'blank cheque' to rewrite laws

The bill will be corrected in the Lords, ministers have said.

Eurosceptic Labour MPs Frank Field, Kate Hoey, John Mann, and Graham Stringer broke with their party to vote in favour, alongside the Conservative Party and the DUP.

Amnesty warned that this was the last chance for MPs to stop the Bill from granting ministers sweeping "Henry VIII" powers to amend EU-derived laws they deem "deficient" without the proper scrutiny of parliament.

"We continue to discuss with the UK Government the ways in which the bill might be amended as it continues its passage through the Houses of Parliament - particularly in respect of clause 11 - to make sure that it is both fit for objective as the UK prepares to leave the European Union and respects devolution in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland".

The vote on the bill's third reading followed two hours of voting on MPs' proposed amendments to the legislation, which the government defeated.

A further clause requiring the Government to carry out an assessment and prepare new legislation to prevent loss of environmental protections post-Brexit was defeated by an even slimmer margin of 17 - 318 votes to 301.

He added: "This is a critical piece of legislation that aims to maximise certainty for individuals and businesses after our exit".

"They have simply, robotically voted down all opposition amendments".

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His remarks came after an earlier warning from Tory former Cabinet minister Justine Greening, whose first major intervention since returning to the backbenches saw her claim Brexit will "not be sustainable" if it does not work for young people.

Bill gets its third reading in the House of Commons later before heading to the Lords.

"When they take their place here they will seek to improve or undo what we've done and make it work for them".

"We are looking forward to working with peers as the bill enters its next stage of scrutiny in the House of Lords at the end of this month".

Greening's Conservative colleague, Dominic Grieve MP, warned ministers that leaving the European Union with no deal at the end of talks would be "The most catastrophic act perpetrated by a government in modern history".

British MPs approved the landmark "Brexit bill", which lays out how the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union, in a 324 to 295 vote on Wednesday.

In the final debate in the Commons on Wednesday, pro-European MPs - including Conservatives - took the opportunity to criticise the government's Brexit strategy. The wide-ranging aspects of these powers have always been a matter of concern in the second chamber and peers are unlikely to pass up the opportunity of amending them.

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