Finance bill amendment: Why it could impact no-deal Brexit

MPs have defeated the Government over no-deal Brexit tax powers, as they backed an amendment to the Finance Bill in a vote in the Commons on Tuesday.

  • What exactly will be the effect of the amendment?

No-deal preparations in action as lorries line up outside Dover. Credit: PA

The amendment restricts the government's freedom to make Brexit-related tax changes without parliamentary safeguards (i.e. a vote).

This will only affect minor laws, however, therefore not impacting directly on the ability to raise tax.

Nevertheless, the amendment could dampen the appetite for a no-deal Brexit.

A separate measure backed by the Liberal Democrats and other opposition parties would prevent the government collecting key taxes unless Parliament has approved its approach to Brexit.

  • Who tabled the amendment?

Yvette Cooper (pictured) and Nicky Morgan tabled the amendment. Credit: PA

The amendment was tabled by Labour MP Yvette Cooper.

This is exactly how Ms Cooper described the amendment: "The risks to our economy and security from no deal are far too high and it would be irresponsible to allow it to happen.

"I do not believe Parliament would support no deal and ministers should rule it out now.

"Time is running out and this is too serious for brinkmanship.

"Parliament needs to make sure there are opportunities to stop the country reaching the cliff edge by accident. This amendment helps to do just that".

Treasury Select Committee chairwoman Ms Morgan said: "Many of us have been clear that Parliament will not allow a no-deal situation to unfold, and with less than 12 weeks to go until March 29 it is time for Parliament to show our opposition to a no-deal exit."

  • Who backed the amendment?

Sir Vince Cable has said the Liberal Democrats will back the amendment. Credit: PA

Labour joined senior MPs in backing the cross-party amendment.

Sir Vince Cable indicated that the Liberal Democrats would also support it.

"We had an amendment of our own which was somewhat more radical than the Yvette Cooper amendment but it hasn't been put forward to the House," Sir Vince said.

"Hers is a perfectly sensible proposal and we will get behind it."

The measure also has the support of Tories Sir Oliver Letwin, Nick Boles and Sarah Wollaston as well as Labour chairman of the Brexit Select Committee Hilary Benn.