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Why EU Withdrawal Bill 'delay' matters

So what if it's taking a bit longer for the government to dot the I's and cross the T's?

So what if the government might not get an obscure piece of legislation through the Commons by Christmas?

So what if that means the Remainiac Lords won't have a chance of letting it on to the statute books before the spring?

Well, it might not sound that exciting, the suggestion this morning that the government's withdrawal bill won't be back in the Commons next week, and maybe not even until after MP s autumn recess.

But it really matters.

The whole point of the potential new law is to provide certainty for business and, frankly, everyone else.

EU law is meant to be transferred across to the British statute books so that when we leave the EU there is still a law of the land, and we don't tip into a legal limbo.

So any delay in the bill is a delay to providing that certainty, which is crucial when businesses are weighing up how rocky or otherwise the next couple of years might be.

It matters too because as one official source suggested, there just is "not enough political agreement yet" to push on, another sign of how difficult the government is finding it, trying to agree their own positions on how we leave the European Union, and how hard they know it will be to persuade not just the opposition, but their own side too.

The prime minister has said again and again, that she will deliver the people's instruction to take us out of the European Union.

But to achieve her other aim of doing that smoothly, her government needs to be able to get their Brexit plans through Parliament.

And even at the foothills of what will be the political equivalent of climbing the Himalayas, the government is already finding itself short of breath.

PS Ministers are inevitably denying there is any delay today, as the bill never had a fixed date, they can technically say that nothing is up.

However, the widespread expectation across Westminster was that the bill would be back in the Commons immediately after the main party conferences - that's already two weeks ago.


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