May could face revolt: Grieve

May could face revolt: Grieve

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a growing Brexit revolt as her MPs accused ministers of smuggling cuts in workplace rights under cover of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve (pictured) said the sprawling bill broke the government’s commitment to copy EU rights exactly into UK law.

He said there could be a rebellion on the bill on one of its votes if it was not “substantially amended”.

The accusation that EU rights were being reduced was denied by the government when first raised by trade unions but the row could escalate if Conservative MPs chose to rebel.

Activists claim legal changes would undermine workers’ ability to seek redress in UK courts for breaches of rights protected in Europe, in areas like gender equality, privacy and data protection.

Grieve told the Evening Standard: “It is important that the government does what it said it was going to do – which is to incorporate EU law without attempting to cut corners or tinker with it in ways that would remove people’s protection.”

Former UK finance minister Ken Clarke MP says he now believes there is no way May can be replaced as Conservative leader “by anybody sensible”.

The veteran pro-EU campaigner told Sky News that talk of leadership elections tends to take place whenever serious subjects, like Brexit, were being addressed.

Far-right Jacob Rees-Mogg MP has been mentioned as a possible replacement for May. The eccentric pro-Brexiteer opposes abortion under any circumstances.

But Clarke did not think May would be lead the Conservatives into the next general election, saying instead that he thought she would be only lead for two or three more years.

The 77-year-old said: “Theresa May is there. There is no prospect of her being replaced by anybody sensible, in any sensible process.

“For the next two or three years, Theresa has got the job of presiding over a smooth transition, through a long transition period, to an arrangement that, at least, will minimise the damage in a few years’ time.”

Clarke continued: “Whenever the Conservative Party can’t think of anything to do, it tends to have a leadership crisis, when it’s rather puzzled by policies.

“The things we’ve been talking about … they are quite complicated. They are difficult. Eurosceptic campaigners offered simplicity: it’s all Brussels’ fault… leave the EU and with one bound we are free and a brave new world will emerge. Well, that is nonsense.

“It’s no use diverting ourselves by saying: ‘would Jacob Rees-Mogg be a 21st-century prime minister?’

Our economy is in a very worrying state. We need, as soon as possible, an assurance that… in trade terms our arrangements with Europe are going to carry on for some years as they are now.

“It’s our children and our grandchildren we should be thinking about. Not next week’s newspaper headline.”

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve. Picture credit: Flickr 

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