It is when the withdrawal bill returns to the commons. Beyond that, the road ahead for May is fraught with dangerby Alex Dean / June 5, 2018 / Leave a comment
Westminster watchers had been waiting for it: the government has announced the date the European Union Withdrawal Bill returns to the House of Commons. On 12th June the fundamental piece of Brexit legislation will be handed back over to the lower chamber. A parliamentary scrap of epic proportions will ensue.
The bill has undergone substantial revision since MPs had a first pass at it last year. The House of Lords contains many fine legal minds: the bill presented next week will contain amendments which among other things aim to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU (though the wording is convoluted) and even in the European Economic Area, effectively the single market.
What is going to happen? The crucial point is that Remainers are in the mood for a fight. Last month senior Conservative rebel Nicky Morgan told Prospect that parliament could “make its views known, and that will require the government to explore some form of a customs union.”
On the question of the single market, she said that the Lords have “done their job, saying to MPs ‘do you want to think again about this?’ and I think that we should.”
A defeat on either point would be very tricky indeed for the prime minister. Our premier has survived humiliations before; it is unclear whether she could make it through parliamentary rebellion on her most significant policy planks.
If that did happen, the government could collapse and an early general election would even be on the cards. If this sounds overdramatic it is no…