British parliament approves Brexit law

The British parliament has approved the EU Withdrawal Bill. Under the draft law, more than 12,000 EU guidelines are to be transferred to national legislation. Commentators criticise the bill as undemocratic and worry about how divided the British parliament is.

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Trud (BG) /

An undemocratic law

The EU Withdrawal Bill torpedoes the separation of powers, Trud complains:

“The British politicians who have been trying to reinvent the wheel for 14 months have realised that they need new laws to replace all the EU guidelines that have been repealed and that have been integrated into British law over the past 43 years. But because this would be a hellish task they have now given Theresa May's cabinet permission to change the laws. In other words, the legislature that passed the laws is transferring control of those laws to the executive. In any normal state, and in particular in the cradle of democracy, this is a recipe for disaster. Not for nothing is the opposition talking about the use of a 'Henry VIII clause'.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

MPs must show a united front

This was just the first hurdle in the Brexit process, warns the Daily Telegraph:

“The key battle could come at the end, however, with Labour pressing for any deal with the EU to be implemented through an Act of Parliament. But MPs on all sides should ask themselves how these political shenanigans will be seen in Brussels, where the Government’s chances of getting a Brexit agreement that a majority of MPs voted for by triggering Article 50 will be made much harder than it is already by impressions of political turmoil at home. Now is the time for our parliamentarians to leave partisanship to one side and to show a united front to the EU. Instead, they risk undermining the chances of getting a good deal and damaging the national interest.”

El Mundo (ES) /

A deeply divided parliament

The passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill strengthens May's negotiating position but also reveals a deep rift in the British parliament, El Mundo observes:

“The passing of this law is a victory for May. One she needs after the general election weakened her position. ... May can relax now and continue negotiating the UK's exit with the EU. ... But she shouldn't get carried away with optimism. She must not forget that Monday also revealed the tremendous divide that exists in the British parliament regarding Brexit, a divide that even transcends the parliamentary groups.”