Uncustomary Proceedings

18 Apr 2018

Today has been a bizarre day. The Government has been defeated in the House of Lords twice on the EU withdraw bill. The first vote was passed 347 to 225 called for the government to be required to match the following condition in Brexit negotiations:

The condition in this subsection is that, by 31 October 2018, a Minister of the Crown has laid before both Houses of Parliament a statement outlining the steps taken in negotiations under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union to negotiate, as part of the framework for the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the European Union, an arrangement which enables the United Kingdom to continue participating in a customs union with the European Union

The second vote passed 314 to 217 which (as far as I can tell) seeks to reinforce the state of UK law and wish to avoid reduction in restrictions without extensive debate in the house.

Both of these stand to aid the Labour party and aid the hopes for the avoidance of a Hard Brexit, though I don’t know whether or not this counts as preventing a Norway-style EEA/EFTA arrangment. These ammendments will face a tougher battle in the House of Commons, where Keir Starmer will need to try his hardest to bring would-be Tory rebels on side to counter-act the Brexit-supporting Labour rebels and DUP members. Whipping operations will be vital for these amendments to proceed over the weeks and months to come.

Theresa May also seems to have lied to the house twice at PMQs over someone denied NHS treatment, and another claim over who was responsible regarding the destruction of records, the HuffPost reports. Theresa May is treading on thin ice, if she and her team are lazy when preparing for Parliamentary commitments not least as she stands in a struggle to keep her own MPs on side for each and every Commons division.