The government’s proposed amendment to Brexit legislation to include Britain’s exit date from the EU could be detrimental to the country’s interest, a senior Conservative MP has warned.
If passed, the amendment, earlier proposed by Brexit Secretary David Davis, could give the government a say on the UK’s long-term relationship with the EU and cover the cost of the divorce, citizens’ rights and the transition period.
“It is not just ridiculous and unnecessary – it could be positively harmful to national interest,” Tory MP and former chancellor Ken Clarke told legislators on Tuesday, a day after Davis said that a Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill would be brought forward if a deal was agreed upon with the EU, The Herald reported.
The Tory government faces possible defeat on the amendment to its EU withdrawal bill put forth by former Conservative attorney general Dominic Grieve.
In a previous statement, Labor MP Frank Field proposed setting Britain’s EU exit date as March 30, 2019, an hour later than the 11 p.m. deadline on March 29 as suggested by the government. He argued that his proposal would make sure that Britain, rather than the EU, sets the time for Brexit.
Mr. Field’s proposal drew criticism from the government with Dominic Grieve saying that no amount of “arm twisting” would make him vote for an amendment fixing exit date at 11 p.m. on March 29.
“My amendment decides on British time, when to leave, their amendment is at the beckoning of Europeans,” Fields said.
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“That’s our choice, it’s about the freedom, a little freedom, the beginnings of freedom that we hope will flow, by actually setting us on the course of leaving the European Union.”
Meanwhile, the timetable of Brexit talks could be pushed back yet again to the EU summit with Brussels saying it will not discuss trade and future relations with Britain until the rights of EU citizens, the divorce bill, and the issue of the Northern Ireland border are sufficiently settled.