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EU Withdrawal Bill: Government backs down over Henry VIII powers

The government will accept amendments to its EU Withdrawal Bill aimed at tackling so-called Henry VI..

By admin , in Money , at December 11, 2017

The government will accept amendments to its EU Withdrawal Bill aimed at tackling so-called Henry VIII powers – but is refusing to budge on its inclusion of the date for our formal exit from the EU.

A Number 10 spokesman said an amendment, put forward by Charles Walker's Procedure Committee and due to be debated tomorrow, has been accepted.

Under the proposals, a new ‘sifting committee’, will work through each piece of delegated legislation and recommend which ones require debate and a vote in the House before they became law. The committee would have 10 sitting days to make this recommendation.

The government spokesman said: "We have studied the Procedure Committee's report in detail and listened to the representations and we are announcing today that we are accepting this amendment

"We recognise the role of parliament in scrutinising the bill, and we have been clear throughout that we are taking a pragmatic approach to what we have always said is a vital piece of legislation. Where MPs and peers can improve the bill we will work with them."

The spokesman did not shut the door to the government accepting further amendments to the bill, which is being debated on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. But asked if the government was still committed to putting date on the face of the bill, he said "yes".

The supposed power grab caused by the bill currently making its way through parliament had represented a major hurdle for the government, with many MPs saying they would block the bill if it were not removed.

During September's debate Labour MP Chris Bryant said the bill contained "clauses that Erdogan, Maduro or Putin would be proud of". Last month Tory rebel Sarah Wollaston said. it "absolutely will not pass" without those powers being dropped. "I don't think anybody voted to take back control for a handful of ministers," she added.

However, including the date is equally contentious. Former attorney general Dominic Grieve told City A.M. there was "widespread" concern about the insertion of a date, which he described as "mistaken, foolish and counterproductive".

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