May sees off more Brexit challenges in Parliament

May sees off more Brexit challenges in Parliament

The battle over customs is far from over.

The battle now moves to the House of Lords, where the government will formally reveal how much it has conceded in the wording of a new amendment expected on Monday or Tuesday.

Crucially, ministers have conceded that if MPs vote down the Withdrawal Agreement with Brussels, that will not result in the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union with no deal - a scenario that few MPs would countenance because of the significant economic damage it would entail.

And when justice minister Phillip Lee resigned in the hours before the vote to oppose Mrs May's Brexit strategy, the government realised it faced defeat.

Minutes later, all but two of the Tory MPs voted with the Government to reject a Lords amendment that would have given Parliament the power to tell the PM to go back and renegotiate the Brexit deal she secures from Brussels.

"That is why Labour governments have always addressed these problems by properly funding the NHS, by having a national minimum wage, investing in our schools and so on".

Pro-EU Tories have warned that they remain ready to rebel if their demands are not satisfied by the compromise amendment, before leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed their idea made a "no-deal Brexit" more likely.

Tory Remainers and Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, debating the Brexit bill for a second day in the Commons, said the inclusion of the Northern Ireland amendment meant the only option was to now "reproduce the customs union and the single market". The EU will not formally ratify the transition deal without reaching an agreement on the details of the backstop plan.

In a recording obtained by BuzzFeed news, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was quoted as telling Conservative party donors that May's government is ready to start playing hardball with the EU, just three weeks before Brexit is discussed among European leaders.

You only needed to look at the size of the amendment paper MPs had to consider to see how squeezed for time the debate was going to be.

It also imperils the now invisible border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an European Union member.

This amendment had looked risky for the prime minister.

But while ministers must be accountable to lawmakers, she told MPs that "the government's hand in negotiations can not be tied by Parliament".

While Conservatives at Westminster say some of these must come to Parliament to allow for common frameworks to be established in areas such as agriculture and environmental regulations, ministers at Holyrood fear the powers of the Scottish Parliament could be restrained for up to seven years.

Another Conservative Remainer, former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, denied that the rebels had been "played" by the Prime Minister.

Senior Remainer Dominic Grieve said Mrs May promised to table amendments in the House of Lords which will address their concerns.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Remaining in the EEA - basically staying in the single market and accepting EU's rules - would force Britain to accept European Union immigrants, he said, and that's why many people voted to leave the bloc.

The government won all eleven votes by narrow majorities. However, the party is divided on the issue, with a total of 89 Labour MPs choosing to defy Corbyn. He added: "I understand the difficulties MPs representing constituencies which voted strongly for Leave or Remain have on the EEA amendment".

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