UK lawmakers vying to put their stamp on Brexit

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LONDON (AP) — With Britain’s House of Commons bitterly divided on the way forward for Britain’s departure from the European Union, lawmakers representing various factions are vying to have their say in the Brexit process after they overwhelmingly rejected the government’s divorce agreement two weeks ago.

Members of Parliament have put forward more than a dozen amendments ahead of a debate on the legislation Tuesday, and house Speaker John Bercow is expected to allow several to be considered.

A look at some of the amendments that are most likely to be discussed.


Yvette Cooper, a prominent lawmaker from the main opposition Labour Party, has placed an amendment that attempts to reduce the chance that Britain could leave the EU without an agreement on future relations by compelling Prime Minister Theresa May to ask the bloc for more time if she fails to secure a deal by Feb. 26. Britain is currently scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, no matter what happens in the talks, raising concerns that a no-deal Brexit could wreak havoc on the economy.

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The amendment of Dominic Grieve from the governing Conservative Party would force the government to allow for six days of debate prior to the official Brexit day on alternatives to the prime minister’s plan so that lawmakers would have the chance to reach a consensus on the best way forward. Following that debate, lawmakers would be able to offer further amendments on alternative plans for Brexit.


Conservative Party lawmaker Graham Brady’s amendment would require May to ditch the so-called backstop, which could force the U.K. to remain in a customs union with the EU indefinitely if the two sides couldn’t agree on another way to avoid physical border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It would direct the prime minister to replace the backstop with “alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border.” Some Brexit-backing Conservative lawmakers, who voted against May earlier this month, have indicated they would support her divorce deal “subject to this change.”


The Labour Party’s main plan calls for the government to make time for lawmakers to vote on options to stop a no-deal exit, such as a customs union with the EU or another referendum on the way forward.


Conservative Party lawmaker Caroline Spelman’s measure rejects the possibility of leaving the European Union without a deal.


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Hilary Benn, a Labour Party MP who chairs the Commons’ Exiting the European Union Committee, has proposed a series of non-binding “indicative votes” on various Brexit options to see which has the most support. The options are leaving under the prime minister’s deal, or without a deal or under a renegotiated deal and holding a second referendum.


Labour Party MP Stella Creasy’s amendment would postpone Britain’s departure from the EU and create a 250-member “citizen’s assembly” to make recommendations on the Brexit process.

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