Parliaments

Last-minute bid to rescue Brexit bill's trickiest bits

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The EU Withdrawal Bill returns to the Lords on Wednesday for a third day of report stage debate, which is when all the voting action happens.

The government appears to have decided what it will do to address peers' unhappiness with two key aspects of the bill - the use of Henry VIII powers, and the bill's effect on powers which are currently devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Henry VIII powers can be used by ministers to legislate without being fully scrutinised by Parliament, and the government has faced complaints since the bill's inception that its use of them is too broad.

Now, Brexit Minister Lord Callanan has taken the unusual step of proposing to delete Clause 8 completely - which creates Henry VIII powers relating to international obligations - and of signing a backbenchers' amendment which prevents the bill itself being modified through secondary legislation.

Devolution matters

On devolution, an argument has been raging for months about how powers repatriated from Brussels are handed back (or not) to the legislatures in Edinburgh and Cardiff. You can read more about the background to the row here.

The government's final offer is an amendment "normally" requiring the consent of the devolved legislatures for changes to powers held in Westminster, and that those powers will be held in Westminster for no more than seven years.

The Welsh government has accepted this plan, but the Scottish government has rejected it.

In both instances, it seems unlikely that these last-minute offers are enough to avoid defeats for the government - but stay with our coverage of the bill on Wednesday to find out.The EU Withdrawal Bill returns to the Lords on Wednesday for a third day of report stage debate, which is when all the voting action happens.

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