UK government may scrap MPs’ holiday to pass Brexit laws

MPs deliver the result of a confidence vote, after Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, in London. (Reuters)

British MPs could sit longer hours and their February holiday may be scrapped as the government races to pass its Brexit legislation before Britain leaves the EU on March 29, Downing Street said Sunday.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is looking at making the House of Commons sit on more Fridays -- which it does not normally do -- and extend debating time well into the evening on some days.

It is also “reviewing” the week-long February recess, a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

There are still eight laws the government wants to pass to prepare the statute books for Brexit, covering areas of trade, fisheries and agriculture, immigration, the environment and healthcare.

These includes any bill needed to implement a divorce deal with the EU, which MPs have yet to agree to.

“We remain committed to ensuring all necessary legislation is in place for exit day on March 29, 2019, and it is important to stress we are confident of meeting that commitment,” the spokeswoman said.

“We are aware this is a challenging timetable, so as a precautionary measure we are in preliminary discussions about extending sitting times -- but only if necessary.”

She said MPs would have a chance to debate and vote on any decision, adding that the government recognized the need to balance their constituency and family responsibilities.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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