Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Daily Telegraph 'Brexit mutineers' front page has backfired, say MPs

Daily Telegraph 'Brexit mutineers' front page has backfired, say MPs

There will be votes on writing environmental protection and workers' rights into the law, as well as on so-called "Henry VIII" powers which let the Government bypass Parliament.

The bill - also known as the Repeal Bill - is meant to ensure legal certainty and avoid a damaging "cliff-edge" when Britain leaves the bloc.

Mr Corbyn ordered his MPs not to take part in the vote, so they would not be seen to support the Government but would also avoid defying the Brexit referendum result.

Grieve said he will "vote against it, no ifs, no buts, no maybes about this, no arm twisting" and pledged he would do so if he was the only person in the voting lobby.

The debate continues on Wednesday, with the key vote on the Brexit date amendment not expected until next month.

Yesterday's Commons clashes were dominated by pro-EU Tory rebels such as Ken Clarke, who slammed ministers for attempting to give themselves more powers.

He got an unusual round of applause from some MPs, who are not supposed to clap, for urging the government to reject its own "silly amendments thrown out because they got a good article in the Daily Telegraph".

They fear putting the date - 11pm, on March 29, 2019 - on the statute book will make it impossible for Parliament to force a delay, to prevent a no deal exit, if the talks fail to achieve a breakthrough.

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And Tory backbencher Anna Soubry could be heard calling her fellow Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin a "disgrace" as he told the House of Commons: "Any MPs who voted for Article 50 but then do not want to fix the date are open to the charge that they don't want us to leave the European Union".

Britain triggered the two-year Article 50 process of leaving the European Union on March 29 this year, but this can be extended if all 28 European Union member states including Britain agree.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph's decision to plaster pictures of Conservative rebels on its front page - under the headline "The Brexit Mutineers" - has provoked a backlash.

Even ardent Brexiteers quickly sought distance from the paper's coverage with Brexit minister Steve Baker stating that "I regret any media attempts to divide our party" and Dominic Raab signalling his agreement.

Keir Starmer, Labour's chief Brexit spokesman, said the proposal was "a significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat".

Later, on the first day of the bill's committee stage in the House of Commons, the Government also comprehensively won a vote (318-68) on the bill's provision for the 1972 European Communities Act to be repealed on exit day.

"When you've voted for that you should abide by the outcome of the decision".

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