Prime Minister Theresa May
warned lawmakers that Britain
could be faced with a Brexit
“cliff edge” if they failed to back her EU repeal Bill, as reports suggested momentum was growing within her party to unseat her.
With British lawmakers readying for their first full parliamentary debate on the legislation that will sever the country’s ties with the European Union, the minister responsible for overseeing the divorce proceedings admitted on Sunday that some payments would continue to Brussels after Britain
May failed to win a clear mandate at a snap election in June and only has a slim majority in parliament that rests on an agreement with a smaller party. She remains vulnerable if pro-European lawmakers
in her Conservative party
team up with other parties to vote down legislation or support amendments.
In Thursday’s debate, the main opposition Labour Party
is planning to propose several changes to the repeal bill with a view to keeping Britain
in the single market and customs union during a Brexit
transition period after 2019, according to The Times.
On Saturday, May’s deputy advised Conservative lawmakers against doing anything that would increase Labour’s chances of returning to power, while May said the bill was the best way to ensure a successful Brexit.
“(It is) the single most important step we can take to prevent a cliff-edge for people and businesses, because it transfers laws and provides legal continuity,” she said in comments provided by her office.
But in a move that would irk many Eurosceptics, the Sunday Times said May was preparing to pay a Brexit
divorce bill of up to 50 billion pounds ($65 billion) to the EU. A spokeswoman at May’s office told Reuters the report, which cited an unnamed source “is simply not true.”
Britain’s chief Brexit
negotiator, David Davis, also dismissed the 50 billion figure.
He did say Britain
was likely to end up paying money into the EU budget
for access to cross-border schemes
like space and nuclear research, though the sum would not be large over the medium to long-term.