Embattled UK PM Theresa May faces crucial Brexit bill battle in Parliament

Michel Barnier and David Davis

GETTYDavis will remind Brussels that the UK won’t be bullied into handing over billions of pound

British Prime Minister Theresa May begins a major parliamentary battle over Brexit on Tuesday, facing competing demands by MPs to change her strategy as tensions rise among her scandal-hit ministers.

However, Davis admitted that if there is no deal agreed before the March 2019 exit date then there will be no withdrawal agreement bill and therefore nothing for MPs to vote.

Her Brexit minister, David Davis, tried to head off some of that rebellion by offering the Commons a vote on the final Brexit deal.

The EU Withdrawal Bill, which formally converts all European Union (EU) legislation into United Kingdom law to ensure complete clarity on Brexit day "March 29, 2019", returns for a line by line scrutiny by lawmakers in what is referred to as the committee stage of the bill.

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"Parliament could do nothing at all to shape the nature of that withdrawal agreement".

Davis said once the terms of Britain's exit, including any financial settlements, any transition deal and agreement on citizen rights, have been drawn up with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, this will have a specific piece of primary legislation that can be debated, amended and voted on by MPs.

"This confirms that the major policies set out in the withdrawal agreement (with the EU) will be directly implemented into United Kingdom law by primary legislation", he said.

On Tuesday, prominent Remain-supporting Tories also criticised an amendment tabled by the Government itself, which would include an European Union exit date of 11pm on 29 March, 2019 within the legislation.

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May's blueprint for Britain's exit from the European Union faces a crucial test starting on Tuesday, when lawmakers will debate the European Union withdrawal bill that she says is crucial to give companies confidence that the rules will not change after Brexit.

Chris Leslie, also from the main Labour opposition, called it a "sham offer" that was "totally worthless".

Brexit Secretary David Davis unveiled plans for the UK's divorce deal to be written into law, meaning both MPs and peers will be afforded a vote on the agreement between London and Brussels.

"For months, Labour has been calling on ministers to guarantee parliament a final say on the withdrawal agreement".

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Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer branded Mr Davis's actions "a significant climbdown from a weak Government on the verge of defeat".

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