Jacob Rees-Mogg is due to table the Finance Bill next week (Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Government to table Brexit Bill next week

Legislation designed to neuter the Withdrawal Agreement was welcomed by Brexiteers

The long awaited Finance Bill, which Brexiteer MPs say will help to mitigate the effects of the Withdrawal Agreement, will be brought to the Commons next week.

The move has been welcomed by senior ERG MPs who say it is essential to give the UK legal powers to resolve a number of outstanding issues of trade, VAT, and the possibility that supermarket supply chains will be disrupted.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement traders moving goods between GB and NI will be forced to fill out onerous paperwork accounting for differences in VAT, but sources suggest the Bill will give the Government powers to keep Northern Ireland with the rest of the UK’s VAT zone.

The Bill is also expected to give the Government power to override the clauses in the Withdrawal Agreement which designate goods moving from GB to NI as “at risk” and subject to EU tariffs. At the moment the only way to have specific goods removed from this category is to secure the agreement of the EU.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement moving legitimate goods into the province without an EU certified label would not be permitted on January 1, but the Finance Bill is set to allow “UK (GB)”-labeled goods into Northern Ireland.

The Government hopes this will become a “Money Bill”, which would prevent the Remain-dominated House of Lords from blocking it, but this designation is at the discretion of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

The other Brexit Bill – the UK Internal Market Bill [UKIMB] – due to mitigate the effects of the Withdrawal Agreement, is expected to become law before Parliament goes into recess. When it was introduced, the Government was heavily criticised after Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told the House of Commons that it broke International Law in a “limited and specific way”.

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