Chuka Umunna was asked by the reporter why he had not voted in two amendments to the bill.

Ministers have won two votes on Brexit legislation as they attempt to push the EU (Withdrawal) Bill through Parliament.

Mr Umunna was asked: “I’ve got to put it to you. Labour MPs, the vast majority, have sat on their hands in two votes. What are your constituents going to think about that?”

The Labour MP tried to defend his position and said he had instead put his efforts into changing the formal date to exit the European Union, which is currently 29 March 2019.

He said: “Well the key thing that we were debating today, which dominated proceedings in the Commons, was the idea of the Government specifying a date for our exit from the .

“They have done that, regardless of whether we’ve actually reached a deal at that point with the European Union to settle our affairs.

“Now I think that is a ludicrous situation, I think that we should have flexibility. It might be that we haven’t dealt with all the issues, the divorce bill that we have to pay, the transition period, the final trading arrangements. 

“We may not have done that by 29 March 2019 and there’s no legal reason why that couldn’t be changed.”

Both Labour members and rebel Tories are gearing up to inflict a number of defeats on Mrs May as they go over the fine print of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

But the Government  which would have forced Theresa May to win the consent of the UK’s devolved administrations before repealing EU legislation.

The amendment was defeated 318-52 as MPs continue their line-by-line scrutiny of the bill.

The Government also significantly won a vote (318-68) on the bill’s provision for the 1972 European Communities Act to be repealed on the day of exit.

The Act currently gives EU law supremacy over UK national law.

Daily Express


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