A three day debate is about to begin by MPs in Parliament on the Withdraw Agreement Bill for the UK to leave the EU on the 31st January. The house will spend late nights discussing the withdrawal bill. Just before Christmas the legislation passed its second reading. The Government plans to have the remaining stages of it’s legislation complete by end of business Thursday, due to the size of the Prime Ministers commons majority. Although the opposition parties have put forward a number amendments to the bill, it is likely to be unsuccessful.
Ministers are confident of getting the bill through to Lords next week and then through parliament, in order to allow enough time for the European Parliament to agree the deal in time for Brexit on January 31st. If all goes to plan it will be an 11 month transition period for the UK, whilst following EU rules still. Whilst this is happening, both the UK and EU will try to negotiate a free trade agreement and discuss the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the bloc.
Boris Johnson is adamant he will not ask for any extension to the transition period, which is causing concern from his opponents of a possible no deal at the end of Brexit 2020. An amendment has been put down by Labour to the WAB, which if it was successful would require ministers to seek a two year extension if they could not agree to a deal by mid June. Labour have also put another amendment in to protect the right of unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their families post Brexit. The ‘Dubs amendment’ was removed by the government which ensures children refugees can still be reunited with their families in the UK after the end of free movement.