Four to One Victory for the Government

Last night the House of Commons voted 494 to 122 in favour of the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.  The vote was the result of three days of detailed discussion on the Bill and suggested amendments.  Usually this (Committee Stage) takes place outside the chamber with a small number of MPs; but a Committee of the whole House can be called for issues of constitutional importance, as in this instance.  The Bill has now passed its Third Reading, which means it will leave the House of Commons for further scrutiny in the House of Lords.

The Island’s MP Andrew Turner said:

“No amendments to the Bill were passed, giving the Prime Minister the fullest trust and mandate from the Commons to conduct the withdrawal negotiations and get the best possible deal for Britain.  There were many who predicted that the Bill would face blocks and wrecking amendments from Remain-supporting MPs.  But I am glad that the Bill passed all stages.  There was proper scrutiny and discussion of the amendments put forward; however all were rejected. 

“The ruling of the Supreme Court that led to this Bill being needed arose from an action brought by Remain supporters hoping to frustrate the Brexit process.  Instead they have made it stronger, as MPs formerly holding opposing views have come together to put into effect the majority wish of the British people to leave the EU.

“Over the past couple of weeks there has been healthy debate, with views from all sides put forward and carefully considered.  The Bill will now go into the House of Lords, where the Government is slightly weaker and does not control the timetable.   It is believed that parts of the Bill, like rights of EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU will be one of the core issues in the Lords.  But 84 per cent of people from the EU will, by two years hence, already have a right to stay in the UK and the Government has also promised a separate vote on any changed to citizenship rights for EU nationals already in the UK.  I will certainly follow the process closely, but I have no doubt that the Bill will pass through the House of Lords as well.”