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Liz Truss may face Lords rebellion over Northern Ireland bill

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theguardian.com

Liz Truss is facing a potential House of Lords rebellion over proposed legislation to rip up part of the Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland amid concerns that it gives ministers “dictatorial” powers to pen and pass laws without scrutiny.About 50 Conservative, Labour and cross party peers are due to meet on Wednesday morning to discuss how they can amend or halt the Northern Ireland bill which has already passed through the House of Commons.They will be getting advice from legal and constitutional experts on the options including strategies for delaying the bill or using a process that could collapse it altogether.Peers have not yet been told when the bill returns for its second reading but are predicting heavy defeats.They say there is growing concern not just over the well-publicised proposals to enable the government to rip up parts of the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol but ministerial powers the bill would give ministers to introduce new laws as long as they deem them “appropriate”.“My concern is not so much the Brexit issue, but the constitutional issue.

The Henry VIII powers are extraordinary here. In my view we would turn the country into an elected dictatorship rather than a parliamentary democracy and I don’t use those words lightly,” said one peer.“What is happening here is parliament is going to give a carte blanche to any minister to do whatever they want to do without any explanation, including breaking international law,” they added.Another said: “We do need to be very careful here that we are not ripping up international treaties” adding that it would be “very very unwise not to have some element of parliamentary inspection”.The peer said there was “great unhappiness” among some Conservative party

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