• The Brexiteer said Labour and Tory rebels are probably plotting on Brexit Bill
  • May faces defeat on Henry VIII powers, which give ministers sweeping powers
  • Government twice delayed Repeal Bill coming to Parliament amid fears of defeat

Kate Ferguson, Political Correspondent For Mailonline

Theresa May faces a defeat over plans to give the government sweeping ‘Henry VIII powers’ in the Brexit Bill, a leading Tory backbencher last night warned. 

Jacob Rees-Mogg warned that Conservative rebels are probably plotting behind the scenes with Labour to add a string of amendments to the so-called Repeal Bill. 

He said there is ‘probably a majority’ for voting down plans to give ministers powers to change EU legislation when they put it into British law without parliamentary scrutiny.

His stark warning comes after Labour vowed to work with rebels in a bid to make a slew of changes to the Bill in a bid to water down Brexit.

The Government is facing a bitter battle to get to EU Withdrawal Bill through both Houses of Parliament.

Tory MP and Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg, pictured at Tory Party conference earlier this month, said the  government  faces defeat over plans to give ministers sweeping powers dubbed 'Henry VIII powers'

Tory MP and Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg, pictured at Tory Party conference earlier this month, said the  government  faces defeat over plans to give ministers sweeping powers dubbed 'Henry VIII powers'

Tory MP and Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg, pictured at Tory Party conference earlier this month, said the  government  faces defeat over plans to give ministers sweeping powers dubbed ‘Henry VIII powers’

Ministers have twice delayed bringing the Bill to the Commons after a staggering 300 amendments were tabled to it in a bid to water down the legislation.

Mr Rees-Mogg told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: ‘I’m sure cross-party working is happening. 

WHAT ARE HENRY VIII POWERS? 

Henry VIII powers give ministers the ability to change bits of EU law as it is turned into British law.

It is named after the famous English King after the Statute of Proclamations 1539 which gave King Henry the power to legislate by proclamation.

The government insists the powers will be used sparingly and are needed to make small technical changes without bogging Parliament down.

But critics say that by bypassing parliament ministers will be handed sweeping powers to make hasty, ill thought-out legislation. 

In total, the government estimates that 800 to 1,000 measures called statutory instruments will be required to make sure the bill functions properly.

‘The Labour party would be very foolish if they weren’t talking to Tory MPs who have doubts.’

He added: ‘I think they would be likely to win on the Henry VIII powers. 

‘I think there’s probably a majority against the government on that, and that’s the biggest risk for the government.’ 

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer yesterday announced his strategy to try to make it harder for the PM to get the all-important Repeal  Bill through the Commons.

The Bill is crucial for formalising Brexit by putting into British law all the legislation which we have signed up to while members of the EU.

Sir Keir said the Government fears it could face defeat on some 13 amendments – potentially throwing Mrs May’s Brexit plans into disarray.

Writing in the Sunday Times yesterday, Sir Keir said a ‘completely different approach’ is needed to the use of so-called Henry VIII powers.

Sir Keir described the changes as ‘silencing Parliament and handing sweeping powers’ to ministers. 

He said it is ‘clear’ that ministers cannot proceed with the Bill as it stands and threatened to ‘work with all sides’ to get his changes made – unless ministers adopt them and end the ‘paralysis’.

Theresa May, pictures with Angeal Merkel and Emmanuel Macron at last week's EU Summit where EU leaders rebuffed her pleas to move on to Brexit trade talks 

Theresa May, pictures with Angeal Merkel and Emmanuel Macron at last week's EU Summit where EU leaders rebuffed her pleas to move on to Brexit trade talks 

Theresa May, pictures with Angeal Merkel and Emmanuel Macron at last week’s EU Summit where EU leaders rebuffed her pleas to move on to Brexit trade talks 

The disastrous General Election means Mrs May relies on the ten DUP for her Commons majority.

This means that if just a handful of Tory rebels switching sides she faces humiliating defeats. 

And Mrs May’s Brexit plans have been hit by a string of problems since her June 8 humiliation.

She travelled to Brussels last week to urge leaders of EU member states to move on to Brexit trade talks.

But her pleas were rebuffed and the EU refused – although in a slight shift in position they said they would hold internal talks on preparing for trade talks – but made it clear the UK would not be invited to the table.

She will update the House of Commons on the progress made in a statement this afternoon.

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.