Conservative Brexiteers have reportedly requested for a guarantee that they will be able to speak in the Commons and not via a internet call for the “historic” post-Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and European Union.
Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, wrote to MPs encouraging them to participate remotely via Zoom when the legislation comes before the House on Wednesday.
Number 10 is aiming for the deal to be voted through in both the Commons and Lords, then be granted Royal Assent in a single day when both Houses are recalled this week.
Many of the 650 MPs are expected to join the House on zoom and vote via a proxy, data from earlier this month showed that almost three quarters of Tory MPs, including Mr Johnson, have nominated the Deputy Chief Whip Stuart Andrew as their proxy.
On the Labour camp, almost eight in ten Labour MPs have nominated party whip Chris Elmore as their proxy. A further 16 left-wing MPs have left Jeremy Corbyn ally Bell Ribeiro-Addy in charge of their votes.
The vote is expected to pass with ease given the Prime Ministers large 80-seat majority in the Commons and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer giving Labour the green light to support it.
Members of the European Research Group (ERG) of Conservative Brexiteers, composed of around 70 MPs, stressed the importance of appearing in person and questioned whether the restrictions meant some would be “forced to participate from their living rooms”.
An ERG source said: “On what would be an historic occasion, it would be disappointing if MPs cannot participate in situ.”
Downing Street also faced another demand from the ERG to publish the Bill as quickly as possible ahead of Wednesday, so it has adequate time to examine it as well as the deal.
Chairman of the ERG, Mark Francois said: “We are hoping to have their conclusions, which they will make public, by Tuesday morning. In the meantime, it would be very helpful if the Government would publish the ratification bill as soon as possible, given we have to vote on it on Wednesday.”
It is understood that Downing Street intends to publish the Bill before Wednesday, but has not given any indication of the timetable.
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This content was sourced from Unity News Network.