June 7, 2018 / 10:59 AM / a month ago

British lawmakers to discuss Brexit bill changes for two days next week

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers will take two days next week to discuss amendments proposed by the upper house of parliament to the government bill ending UK membership of the European Union.

The Houses of Parliament are silhouetted against the morning sky in London, Britain December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Prime Minister Theresa May has to get the bill approved by both chambers of parliament well in advance of Britain’s exit on March 29, 2019, but the House of Lords, the unelected upper house, has demanded major changes to government proposals.

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, said the lower chamber will debate the amendments on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

She also said two key Brexit bills - on trade and customs - will be debated in parliament before the end of next month. Pro-European lawmakers might use the debates to try to bind the government into remaining in a customs union with the EU.

“I agree we must hold these debates as soon as possible and I would like to update the house that these bills will come forward by mid-July at the latest,” Leadsom said.

“I look carefully at the progress we are making on all legislation and I am pleased that the return of these bills, along with the return to this house with the EU withdrawal bill, demonstrates continued progress towards ensuring we have a fully functioning statute book when we leave the EU.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison

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