The Bill has previously faced criticism from those who fear it will threaten the UK’s global reputation. But ministers have defended powers contained in the legislation, which allow them to override the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.
They argue that the powers are needed to protect Great Britain’s relationship with Northern Ireland, amid concerns that Brussels could try and disrupt food goods travelling between the two as part of trade talks.
However, a Tory backbench rebellion did result in the Bill being changed so that ministers are unable to use the powers and override the Brexit deal without MPs voting first.
The Bill also contains powers which enable Westminster to provide financial assistance for economic development, infrastructure, cultural activities and education purposes across the country.
Speaking at third reading, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: ‘Our approach will give businesses the regulatory clarity and certainty they want.
‘It will ensure the cost of doing business in the UK stays as low as possible, and it’ll do so without damaging and costly regulatory barriers emerging between the different parts of the United Kingdom.’
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