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A still image taken from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament showing Brexit Secretary David Davis speaking at the House of Commons as the UK Prime Minister sits by his side, Thursday, September 07, 2017.
UK lawmakers have begun debating legislation to end Britain's membership in the European Union, as the EU's chief Brexit negotiator voiced skepticism about Britain's withdrawal proposals.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn were in the Commons chamber in Parliament for the start of the debate on Thursday.
The EU (Withdrawal) Bill would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and convert directly-applicable EU laws and regulations into UK law.
May’s government says the bill, designed to disentangle Britain from more than 40 years of EU lawmaking, is the first step in implementing last year’s EU referendum to leave the 28-member bloc.
The Labor Party says it backs Brexit but says it will vote against the bill as it stands because it represents a "power grab" by giving the government the ability to amend the EU laws as they are transferred without proper scrutiny.
Labor has other objections to Brexit as well, including the date of Brexit to the amount of money paid to the EU, to employment and social legislation and environmental legislation.
Speaking at the debate on Thursday, Brexit Secretary David Davis said the legislation is vital to ensuring Britain leaves the bloc in an orderly manner.
"Without this legislation, a smooth and orderly exit is impossible," Davis told MPs in the House of Commons as the prime minister sat by his side.
Meanwhile, the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has criticized Britain's proposals to resolve the fraught issue of the Irish border after Brexit and revealed that much work remains to agree to the divorce.
London's Brexit proposal and the slow progress of negotiations "worries me," Barnier told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.
Barnier also accused Britain of reneging on promises over its divorce payment, highlighting the depth of the division between the two sides.
“I’ve been very disappointed by the UK position as expressed last week, because it seems to be backtracking on the original commitment of the UK to honor its international commitments, including the commitments post-Brexit,” he added.

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