Video: Anna Soubry asks the opening question of PMQs (Credit: Parliament Live TV)
Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry fired the first question as Parliament reconvened – and aimed it at her own party leader Theresa May’s handling of the Brexit process.
Conservative Ms Soubry’s question was about the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 – a bill to make other provisions in connection with Britain leaving the EU.
Amendments will be discussed during a second reading of the bill at the House of Commons on Thursday (September 7).
Soubry campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU before the referendum in 2016, although her constituency overall voted to leave.
Speaking during PMQs, Anna Soubry opened the questions and said: “Part of the process of leaving the European Union is that it’s imperative that we transfer existing EU laws, legislation, directives and the rest into substantive British law.
“There are many very serious concerns among these benches about the means, not the ends, of the EU withdrawal bill.
“So, could my right honourable friend assure me that she will look in particular at those amendments that seek to change the EU withdrawal bill so that it doesn’t become an unprecedented and un-necessary government power grab.”
Prime Minister Theresa May responded by saying: “I know that, like me, she wants to see an orderly exit from the European Union and will be supporting this bill which enables us not just to leave the EU but to do so in an orderly manner with a functioning statute book.
“As we do that, we will require some powers to make corrections to the statute book after it becomes law because the Brexit negotiations are ongoing and we’ll do that via secondary legislation which will receive Parliamentary scrutiny.
“It is an approach which has been endorsed by the House of Lords constitution committee and I would like to reassure my right honourable friend that as the bill goes through scrutiny in this house.
“As the debate continues, we will of course listen very carefully to that debate and I will be very happy to meet my Right Honourable Friend to discuss this further.”