DUP backs government in EU repeal bill

By Stephen Walker
BBC News NI Political Correspondent

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In June, the DUP agreed to support Theresa May's minority government as part of £1bn funding deal for Northern Ireland

DUP MPs have backed the government in a series of votes in Westminster supporting the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The move, which will see EU Law becoming British law after Brexit, has been criticised by some MPs as a "power grab".

The bill, which will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK, now moves onto its next parliamentary stage.

As expected, all 10 DUP MPs backed the government. It was passed by 326 votes to 290.

More than 100 MPs had their say during the two-day second reading debate.

Prime Minster Theresa May said the vote offered clarity and certainty.

But there was much criticism about the bill: In particular, worries were expressed about scrutiny and accountability.

Independent North Down MP Lady Hermon voted against the bill, as did the Liberals, Plaid Cymru, the SNP and Labour.

However, seven Labour MPs rebelled and voted with the government.

In the Commons chamber, East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson described the planned move as "an essential building block" and said critics were using the debate to try and block Brexit.

Mr Wilson welcomed the vote's outcome, saying the question was whether it helped to " deliver the will of the people".

He criticised those who opposed it, in particular, those who said the change was undemocratic.

"What is rather ironic is that they go on say how undemocratic this bill is," said Mr Wilson.

"Yet they are quite happy to stay in the EU where we can have directives and other laws without any reference to this House."

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