While Brexit negotiations in Brussels appear to have reached a deadlock, Theresa May’s government does not appear able to reign over her own parliamentary majority.
The UK government will delay debating the EU Withdrawal Bill as it cannot rely on its parliamentary majority to pass it the BBC reports.
The bill was initially known as the Great Repeal Bill. It is designed to transfer all EU legislation that has been in force in the UK law over the last 44 years, incorporate it into national law, whilst repatriating all executive and legislative powers from Brussels.
While the law has passed in principle, the bill has met serious resistance from devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, who argue that the bill facilitates a “power grub” of power from London, altering the balance of power in the UK.
But, resistance is also fierce within the Conservative Party.
The bill was initially scheduled to be debated after the Autumn recess, that is, after the Conservative Party conference the week after October 9. However, backbench opposition is considerable and many Conservative MPs are demanding amendments.
That is not one or two amendments. According to Andrea Leadsom – former contender for the leadership of the Conservative Party – there were 300 proposed amendments.
Although the Brexit Minister Robin Walker told the BBC he expects the bill to pass within week, without specifying how many. But, given the volume of proposed amendments, it is highly unlikely the bill will be voted upon before the Spring of 2018. Labour Shadow Brexit Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, argued the bill is in “paralysis.”