Key Brexit battle begins as repeal bill is tabled

Anna Soubry

Theresa May will face off against Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister's Questions as Brexit splits grip their respective parties. He tweeted: "I regret any media attempts to divide our party".

Pro-EU ex-minister Anna Soubry, described it as a "blatant piece of bullying that goes to the very heart of democracy".

He said: "I have to say I find this amendment by the government so very unusual, because it seems to me to fetter the government, to add nothing to the strength of the government's negotiating position, and in fact potentially to create a very great problem that could be brought back to visit on us at a later stage". "But we want a proper Brexit, one that works for jobs and industry, that's what we're trying to get".

Nick then put the words of fellow Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, who said that anyone who votes against enshrining the date of Brexit in law must answer allegations that they want to stop Brexit.

"The role of MPs is not to be lobby fodder but to scrutinise legislation", tweeted Antoinette Sandbach, referring to the lobby areas in which lawmakers vote.

The Telegraph gave over most of its front page to photographs of the 15 backbenchers under the headline: "The Brexit mutineers".

"My parliamentary colleagues have honest suggestions to improve the bill which we are working through and I respect them for that".

The rebels include many Tory MPs who are usually loyal, but are concerned that fixing the date of Brexit to March 29, 2019, will "tie our hands" in negotiations.

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Conservative rebellions are likely later on in the process, with a further six days of discussion set aside over the coming weeks.

But a last-minute government move to use the law to legislate for Brexit day has sparked widespread anger among those who argue that there should be some flexibility if European Union negotiations are delayed.

Veteran MP Clarke labelled the amendment to make the day the United Kingdom leaves the European Union binding, making sure that Brexit happens at 11pm on 29 March 2019 "utterly foolish" and "silly".

Grieve said there could be some room for compromise on most issues in the coming weeks but the efforts to find consensus were undermined by the government's "mad" amendment to ensure the European Union exit date is fixed at 11pm on 29 March.

She told MPs: "None of the people who have been named - I take it as a badge of honour - want to delay or thwart Brexit".

"We're going to leave".

David Davis and his colleagues had expected the EU27 to accept agreement on the broad framework for calculating the Brexit divorce bill as the "sufficient progress" it has demanded. "I didn't. My objective is to try to make sure that Brexit is as controlled and risk-free a process as possible".

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