Daily Summary

27 January 2017

The Headlines 

  • Five-paragraph Article 50 bill prompts row over debating time
  • Corbyn faces frontbench rebellion over Article 50
  • Theresa May is preparing to abandon plans for a British Bill of Rights post-Brexit
  • Businesses to face fierce fight for migrant workers 

Inside the Papers   

The Financial Times reports that the British government has published a short bill to authorise Brexit as opposition MPs complained they did not have enough time to fully debate the legislation. The bill, which is only five paragraphs long, simply declares that the prime minister may notify the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU. According to the FT, the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill was written as tightly as possible to prevent amendments by hostile MPs. However, on Thursday evening Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said Labour had tabled a series of amendments to the bill, including a requirement for a vote in parliament before the government can agree any final exit deal. Meanwhile, the Scottish National party has threatened to submit up to 50 amendments designed at thwarting a so-called “hard Brexit”.

“Corbyn facing MPs' Brexodus” is the headline for the Daily Mirror, after Tulip Siddiq quit as shadow education minister after a three-line whip was imposed on MPs to vote in favour of Article 50. The Labour leader faces the threat of further resignations as other shadow ministers declared their intention to rebel against the party’s formal position on the bill. Daniel Zeichner, the shadow transport minister and MP for Cambridge, where 74 per cent of voters backed staying in the EU, also said that he would defy the whip. The Mirror suggests Jeremy Corbyn is facing a walkout by his frontbench team, while the Daily Mail highlights Labour’s “chaotic position” on Brexit which it claims has “torn the party further apart”.

In other news, the Daily Telegraph reports that Theresa May is planning to abandon plans for a British Bill of Rights after Britain leaves the EU. The paper quotes government sources saying plans to scrap the Human Rights Act - already shelved until after Brexit - may now be abandoned entirely, because the sovereignty of British courts will already be significantly strengthened. The Telegraph’s sources also reportedly highlighted the Brexit judgement by the Supreme Court earlier this week, which made clear that Britain will no longer be subject to European Court of Justice rulings after Brexit.