Opposition parties face a power test in voting on the EU Trade Bill


MPs are planning to vote on whether, after a last-minute deal has been reached with the EU, to approve the landmark EU Trade Bill.

MPs have just five hours to discuss today in the House of Commons the proposed EU (Future Relations) Bill before voting on the legislation that will introduce the Brexit agreement.

It is expected that the prime minister will open the debate around 9:30 a.m., the UK said. After being once a “a friendly neighbor” it will become “best friend and ally the EU could have” and the “half-hearted, sometimes obstructive member of the EU.”

He would also state that, amid calls to delay it, his government has “pushed ahead” with the Brexit process “precisely because creating certainty about our future offers the best chance of beating Covid and coming back even stronger next year.”

Johnson will inform MPs that the bill will establish as “new relationship” a “sovereign equals,” between the EU and the UK and is expected to add: “We will now open a new chapter in our national story, conclude free trade agreements around the world, add to the agreements with 63 countries we have already achieved, and reaffirm global Britain as a liberal, outward-looking force for good.”

After days of uncertainty over the bill’s support, his speech came with both Labour and Conservative MPs whipped to vote for it, while all other parties were whipped to vote against it.

It will still send a majority to the Conservative government before it goes this afternoon to the House of Lords.

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, declared on Sunday that his party would not vote for the bill. Although First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said earlier this month that such an outcome would be catastrophic for businesses and the economy, this prompted criticism that the Nationalists would effectively vote for a no-deal exit from the EU.

This has been contested by Mr. Blackford and several other SNP MPs, with Mr. Blackford claiming, “We certainly don’t support a deal. No deal is something for all of us that would be a catastrophe.”

The best deal we’ve got is the one we’ve got right now, where we’re both in the single market and the customs union. All the economic proof, even from the British government, is that this agreement will make us all poorer.

Her comments were questioned by both the Labour and Scottish Conservatives, with Douglas Ross, Moray’s MP and leader of the Scottish Tories, tweeting yesterday, “Despite her own warnings earlier this month, Nicola Sturgeon’s MPs will vote for a no-deal Brexit tomorrow.”

The Liberal Democrats declared yesterday afternoon that they would not support the EU bill either.

The agreement was “flimsy” and “bad for jobs, the economy, security and our environment.” Ed Davey, the party leader, said.

“It is clear that this is a bad deal that will make the lives of people poorer, so the Liberal Democrats will vote against it,” Davey said.

This failed deal leaves the service industry in limbo and is the only free trade agreement in history that has created barriers and increased red tape, resulting in long delays and higher costs.

“After a horrible year, we are all desperate to move forward, to see our country reunited, to restore our economy and our communities. Boris Johnson’s offer just makes it more complicated, even by his own low standards.

The Brexit saga, said Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, is a “warning to those who support independence,” adding, “It is painful and costly to break long-term economic partnerships.” With democracy, we do not replicate these Brexit errors.

Alister Jack, Scotland’s secretary of state, warned Scottish MPs that if they did not support the U.K. government’s bill, they would face questions from their constituents.

He said, “For all Scottish MPs, this is a historic moment and their constituents will expect them to do the right thing.” I encourage them to embrace the agreement wholeheartedly, as it is obviously in the best interests of Scotland.

Those who would not have to justify why they voted for no deal to the people of Scotland


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