Brexit bill clears first parliamentary hurdle

MPs could vote down secret plan to pay EU £46billion in divorce settlement

MPs could vote down secret plans to pay the EU £46 billion it has been claimed

After more than 13 hours of debate in Britain's parliament, Brexit is now another step closer, after United Kingdom lawmakers backed a second reading of the European Union withdrawal bill in the early hours of Tuesday (September 12).

It will repeal the 1972 act taking Britain into the European Economic Community and convert EU law into United Kingdom law.

After more than 13 hours of speeches for and against the legislation, which May says is essential for Brexit but critics describe as a Conservative government power grab, lawmakers voted 326 to 290 in favor of moving the European Union withdrawal bill, or repeal bill, to the next stage of a lengthy lawmaking process. "Without it, we would be approaching a cliff edge of uncertainty which is not in the interest of anyone".

Johnson said Juncker "has said that he regards Brexit as a moment for the renaissance - or he's about to say this, according to the papers - as a moment for the renaissance of the European Union".

And, while the focus is on the Labour dissenters who defied Jeremy Corbyn and chose to put people before party, it's Theresa May who faces the greatest test after 157 amendments were tabled, many by senior Tories sympathetic towards the EU.

Labour party spokesman on Brexit, Keir Starmer said the bill was "an affront to Parliament and the principle of taking back control".

The government has promised concerned lawmakers that ministers would not use the wide-ranging powers to make "substantive changes" to law and some have said they will seek changes to the bill at later stages.

In a statement later, the party said its position had not changed.

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, said: "The second reading of the EU Withdrawal Bill was passed with a majority of 36 with no Conservative MP opposing the measure and some Labour MPs voting with us or abstaining".

Pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Ken Clarke told Sky News he expected the government to have to change the wording of the bill to win over parliament.

The European Parliament's biggest political group said it proposed an amendment to stop British business from a mass selloff of emissions allowances if they are no longer part of the market.

The vote is the first of many stages the bill must pass before it becomes law.

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