Britain announces concessions over EU withdrawal bill before parliament debates

LONDON, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- British government on Tuesday announced a series of concessions over the EU withdrawal bill, proposing to give businesses and citizens a three-month window after leaving the European Union.

With the bill due to reach its report stage and third reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, Britain's Brexit Department has tabled 25 amendments to the bill addressing various concerns that have been raised about the legislation.

In a statement, the department said during the bill's passage through the House of Commons, the government has worked with and listened to MPs who have made constructive suggestions to ensure statute book functions on exit day.

The department said as an effort to boost legal certainty, and responding to suggestions made by MPs during committee stage, the government has also brought forward an amendment relating to the general principles of EU law.

"These are the binding legal principles that shape EU law and the way it is interpreted. Citizens and businesses would have an additional three months after exit day to start court cases where they believe the general principles of EU law have not been followed prior to exit day," it said in the statement.

The department also announced a further proposal reflecting the ongoing dialogue between the government and devolved administrations, changing the way in which Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland can use the correcting power. "Where they previously needed to seek the consent of the UK government they would now only need to consult."

Commenting on the amendments, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Brexit Steve Baker said: "In bringing forward these amendments today, we're showing the seriousness with which we take parliament's views."

The second phase of Brexit negotiations, covering transitional arrangements after Britain leaves and economic and security co-operation in the future, are due to begin soon.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is right to plan for all scenarios, including no deal, but she is confident the two sides will reach an agreement on their post-Brexit relations in time for the Brexit.

[ Editor: meng ]


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