Prime Minister Theresa May came under further pressure over her Brexit blueprint on Monday, with members of the upper house of parliament saying there were “fundamental flaws” in a law crucial to the departure.
The law has also deepened splits in her Conservative Party, which has for years been divided over Britain’s relations with the European Union.
|Challenged on all fronts, May faces pressure over Brexit law
It is yet another battle for a weakened prime minister whose leadership is being questioned after scandals within her party, gaffes and an ill-judged election that lost her party its majority in parliament.
Facing calls to axe her Chancellor, who favours a gentle Brexit, and criticism over a lack of big ideas to revive the fortunes of the Conservatives, May needs to drive through legislation to sever ties with the EU before March next year.
The largely pro-EU House of Lords, which will start debating the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill on Tuesday, have made no secret of their opposition to the legislation which they say amounts to little more than a power grab by the government.
It is designed to put current EU legislation into British law essentially in one move, allowing for changes later.
“We acknowledge the scale, challenge and unprecedented nature of the task of converting existing EU law into UK law, but as it stands this bill is constitutionally unacceptable,” said Ann Taylor, head of the influential Constitution Committee.
“The bill grants ministers overly-broad powers to do whatever they think is ‘appropriate’ to correct ‘deficiencies’ in retained EU law,” the committee said in a report.
While many peers are opposed to the legislation, the House of Lords is not expected to veto the law after it was passed in the lower house of parliament.
But more criticism over what even some government officials say was a hastily created bill to “copy and paste” EU rules and regulations into British law by the time it leaves the bloc next year underlines the size of the task facing May.Reuters