House of Lords to Strike Down Key Element of May’s Brexit Plan

House of Lords to Strike Down Key Element of May’s Brexit Plan
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AP Photo / Kirsty WigglesworthEurope19:51 17.04.2018(updated 19:52 17.04.2018) Get short URL
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Britain’s upper legislative house is to find itself more in agreement with the Opposition Party than the Government on Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union are set to receive another blow as the country’s House of Lords is widely expected to vote for Britain to remain a member of the EU’s Customs Union.

The expected result will put Britain’s upper house, including many senior figures in the Conservative Party, on the same page as the position of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. The Opposition leader has had to balance the competing constituencies of the party, the majority who voted Remain and historic Labour voters in the UK’s more deprived regions who voted Leave.

As it stands, Labour’s policy is to withdraw Britain from the European Union and the Single Market which places restrictions on certain economic policies such as government subsidy for domestic industry. Under Labour’s policy however, Britain would remain a member of the Customs Union, through which the EU’s 28 member states negotiate trade agreements collectively rather than as individual countries.

In her 2017 Lancaster House speech, Mrs. May set out the Conservative Party’s intention to leave the EU as well as all of its constituent institutions including the Single Market, Customs Union and the European Court of Justice. The upper house of Britain’s legislative bodies, which is unelected, has been united for the most part in opposition to Brexit.

Prime Minister May has also faced opposition to her Brexit roadmap in the House of Commons, where on December 14 Dominic Grieve led a pro-EU faction of the Conservative Party in voting against the government’s EU Withdrawal Bill. Another prominent Conservative and former minister, Anna Soubry in February threatened the Prime Minister that she and other like-minded Conservatives would abandon the party if the influence of Hard Brexiteers such as Agriculture Secretary Michael Gove, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg is not curbed.    

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