House of Commons by UK Parliament (CC-BY-3.0)

By UK Parliament (CC-BY-3.0)


Put next Tuesday the 12th June in your diary, the House of Commons will be voting on the Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, in one single day.

The EU Withdrawal Bill, the bill designed to transpose EU law into UK law so as to give the country legal certainty as it leaves the EU, is coming back before the House of Commons next Tuesday after its recent battering and amendment by the Pro-EU House of Lords.

The 15 amendments that the Upper House made to the bill by defeating the government, will now be voted on by MPs in one single day, but the numbers are very tight given that the Tory government is reliant on the DUP for its majority.

Conservative MPs have been ordered to be on site at all times on what is expected to be a long day of voting and the Tory Chief Whip, Julian Smith, has written to all his party's MPs to remind them of their manifesto commitment to leave the single market and customs union. But one cabinet minister told James Forsyth writing in the Spectator that it is going to get messy.

The Remain side is of course gearing up to get as many Labour and Tory MPs to rebel against their leaders and manifestos and keep as many of the Lords amendments in the mix as possible.

With the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, urging Labour MPs to be brave and defy the Jeremy Corbyn instructions to vote against keeping the UK inside the European Economic Area.

The Remainers are also upset that they only get one day to debate and vote on the amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Remainer Labour MP Chukka Umunna who supports the People's Vote campaign said:

"It is absolutely outrageous for the government to allocate just one day to a debate that promises to be crucial for the future of our country."

and Labour MP and Best for Britain supporter David Lammy said:

"This is a shameful attempt by the government to avoid difficult questions about the chaotic mess they’ve made of the Brexit negotiations."

I disagree, it is the actions of Remainers like them that have been the cause of all our difficulties.

The main thrust of the Remainers appears to be, to do all they can to keep the UK inside the customs union and single market – which, as all Leavers and Remainers are fully aware, is to effectively maintain the UK's membership of the EU – so trashing the will of the British people and the outcome of the biggest exercise in democracy the UK has ever seen.

The Remainers are also totally aware that their actions could potentially weaken Theresa May's negotiating hand – which means they are completely happy aiding the EU side.

And one Tory MP had said back in April that "We have the numbers" to defeat the government and keep the UK in the customs union, reports City AM.

But whether all that rebelliousness makes it as far as the actual vote is another matter.

Would the majority of those rebels on both Tory and Labour benches really risk a possible general election and probable ejection from their party so losing their seat? Some might, but not all.

We're in for an interesting day next Tuesday – get the beer, wine and popcorn ready.

On trade, Liam Fox, the Trade Secretary has said that he is hopeful that once we are out of the European Union the US steel and aluminium tariffs imposed on the EU will no longer apply to the UK, reports Sky.

And the government has reiterated its commitment to reducing net immigration to the tens of thousands, despite the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, saying he would review major parts of Theresa May's immigration policy and appeared reluctant to endorse the policy of reducing net migration down below the 100,000 threshold says the Times.

Now to the civil service. Bob Seely, the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, got reportedly 'wound up' by the remarks of the head of the Diplomatic Service, Sir Simon McDonald who said:

"One fact that will not change is that we are a medium sized country and most of what we want to do on the international stage we can only achieve with partners."

And he also said that Brexit will make hard work for the Foreign office.

These people just don't get it do they? We can be partners, we just don't need to be in the EU political pocket to do that. Also, being outside of the EU means we are more free to choose our own partners and what those partnerships look like.

Now on to the EU Galileo satellite project, the Express reports that without UK help the system may never get to fly as it relies on UK ground stations in the Falklands and Ascension Island.

But there is also the matter that UK companies could pull their vital technological support for the project and back the UK government's position and turn their attention to creating a UK system.

But the French say the UK won't do that and are putting the threats of a rival UK system down to a negotiating position.

According to Reuters a junior French economy minister said:

"Considering the cost of the programme and the investment that would represent, about 10 billion euros, we find it hard to imagine they could go it alone."

But a UK Space Agency spokesman said:

"The development of a domestic system is economically viable and made possible by the world-leading expertise of the UK space sector."

I don't know why the UK is still talking to the EU about this one, just pull the Galileo plug and get to work on our own system – it will be great for the UK tech sector and put us right up there in space technology, which is where there is expected to be huge economic growth in the coming decades.

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