Labour MP Frank Field to launch bid to stop Remain MPs wrecking EU exit Bill
A LEADING Labour MP will try to save the 69-page "Brexit Bill" from "wreckers" by replacing it with just four simple clauses later this month.
Frank Field said his proposals would minimise the chances of the Bill, designed to smooth the UK's exit from the European Union being derailed. Today he has issued a call for voters to write to their MPs asking them to support what he calls his "slimline Brexit Bill".
MPs and peers posing as "wolves in sheep's clothing" are seeking to defeat the legislation by the backdoor, he said.
MPs had been due to debate the Bill weeks ago. But the process was delayed after MPs from all parties tabled almost 400 amendments.
Ministers were forced to retreat saying that they needed more time to consider the proposed changes.
Already Tory Remainers, including former education secretary Nicky Morgan, have warned ministers that they expect their demands to be met.
The Conservative's tiny majority at Westminster means the Government can be defeated if a handful of Tory rebels join with opposition parties.
Mr Field warned that as things currently stand voters "could be forgiven for thinking that the Government's strategy for leaving the EU is being run by those who actually oppose Brexit. That should set the alarm bells ringing".
He said that "too many" MPs were "wolves in sheep's clothing. They are pretending that they wish to engage constructively with the Government to improve the Bill which will free us from EU control. But too many of this group have a real aim of wrecking the Bill".
Mr Field's proposals would scrap the Government's Brexit Bill and replace it with just four clauses - setting a date to leave the EU, replicating EU legislation and regulations on the UK statute book that day, allowing MPs to review these laws and regulations and the Prime Minister to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.
The move would get rid of the Government's controversial plans to use so-called "Henry VIII" powers to allow ministers, not MPs, to amend the Bill after it becomes law.
Mr Field said that his set of amendments "give the Government all the power it needs successfully to get us out of the EU.
A short four-clause Bill will defend the referendum decision".
The Government's Bill, formally known as a European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which would transplant thousands of EU laws into UK statute, will return to the Commons on November 14.
Meanwhile Theresa May will be punished by voters if she spends billions of pounds on an EU divorce bill instead of on public services, the head of a leading Eurosceptic think tank has said.
Robert Oulds told the Bruges Group annual conference: "The latest figure of £44billion coming out of Brussels is quite simply untenable."
He said the money would be enough to build 280 schools or 40 state-of-theart new hospitals.
He added: "The public knows this and will punish the Tories severely at the next election if the Government caves in."