Daily Telegraph accused of 'blatant bullying' of Tory Brexit 'mutineers'

Daily Telegraph accused of 'blatant bullying' of Tory Brexit 'mutineers'

One of several votes yesterday was on whether the bill should include a line repealing the 1972 act - crucial to taking us out of the EU.

It was a "blatant piece of bullying that goes to the very heart of democracy", although she said she viewed it as a "badge of honour".

MPs are scrutinising the withdrawal bill and deciding on amendments.

LONDON - 15 Conservative MPs who plan to vote against the government on an amendment to the withdrawal bill have been branded "mutineers" by The Daily Telegraph in a front page splash that has caused outrage in Westminster.

Tory MP Theresa Villiers warned in October that Remainer MPs should "respect" the decision of the British people and stop using the European Union withdrawal bill to "frustrate" Brexit.

The Daily Telegraph's controversial front page today pictures the 15 Conservative MPs that they say are trying to derail Brexit.

Brexit Minister Steve Baker added the newspaper is involved in "attempts to divide our party".

Baker, the pro-Remain Brexit minister, was quick to stand up for the Tory rebels' right to seek improvements to the bill, saying he regretted "any media attempts to divide our party".

The former frontbencher warned that some of the 300 amendments to the European Union withdrawal bill are simply an attempt by Remainer MPs to thwart the Brexit process.

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It passed at second reading, meaning MPs agree with it in principle, but will now be reshaped to make sure it works and try and make it pass in the House of Lords.

A series of attempts to rewrite the legislation were seen off with Government majorities ranging from 20 to 266.

Tory rebels have indicated they will vote against the government's plan to enshrine the UK's exit date in law, which could cause the amendment to be defeated.

The government said it wants an implementation period of around two years after Brexit to stop an economically damaging "cliff-edge" - but insists Britain will be fully out of the EU.

The government were "boxing themselves into a corner" in using the bill to specify the exact date and time of Brexit - 23:00 GMT on 29 March 2019 - he said, because the United Kingdom would be "hamstrung" if the negotiations needed to be extended at the last minute.

Brexiteer Geoffrey Cox seemed to echo this position, telling MPs: "Let us suppose our own negotiators wish an extension, it is curtailing the flexibility and room for manoeuvre of our own negotiators".

Keir Starmer, Labour's chief Brexit spokesman, said the proposal was "a significant climbdown from a weak government on the verge of defeat".

To that effect, it has tabled its own amendment putting the date of Britain's departure onto the face of the bill, which was being debated later on Tuesday, although not taken to a vote.

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