Blog: UK Brexit powers plan defeated in House of Lords –

LONDON — Boris Johnson’s government suffered two fresh defeats in the House of Lords over plans to transfer EU laws to the U.K. statute book once the Brexit transition ends. 

Peers voted 367 to 209 for an amendment that ensures a previous method for repatriating market rules, which requires consensus from all four U.K. nations, remains in place. They subsequently defeated the government by 327 to 223 on a separate amendment to reduce the ability of the government to tweak the law with little scrutiny by Parliament. 

Once the transition period ends on December 31, the government wants to impose new rules on the devolved governments to stop goods and services from different parts of the U.K. undercutting those in the other parts. It also wants to ensure regulations are the same across the four nations so the market is borderless. 

The government wrote the changes into the Internal Market Bill, but the measures cut across so-called “common framework” measures, that are agreed between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The common frameworks were due to agree on rules and regulations for specific areas, but the bill would allow Westminster to make decisions on a unilateral basis. The first amendment passed by the Lords means the common frameworks approach remains in place.

MPs will get the chance to remove the amendments when the bill returns to the House of Commons. 

Peers last week defeated the government on a number of other amendments to the bill, removing controversial clauses that would have undermined the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and therefore broken international law.

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