Theresa May avoids Commons defeat after Brexit climbdown

Theresa May avoids Commons defeat after Brexit climbdown

Ministers defeated a move to give MPs the decisive say on what happens over Brexit if they do not agree with the final deal negotiated by the United Kingdom government.

He said that remaining in the EEA, which includes membership of the single market, was not a flawless solution. That has potentially seismic consequences for the protracted and increasingly messy split from Brussels.

If May is defeated by a wide margin her position as Prime Minister could be threatened.

He called for Brexit to be delayed, and for the public to get a second referendum on the terms of any exit deal.

The government is considering rebel proposals that would require it to seek parliament's approval for its strategy if there is no Brexit deal by the end of November.

Some lawmakers say this is what they were promised; the government is less clear and has made statements apparently to the contrary. But it was forced to offer Tory rebels some big concessions.

Further votes on EU Withdrawal Bill amendments will take place on Wednesday, with no defeats expected for the government after ministers agreed a compromise wording over post-Brexit plans for a "customs arrangement". Such a vote would give the lower house more power to set the government's "direction" if the house rejects the agreement. "If the Lords amendments are allowed to stand, that negotiating position will be undermined", she told them, adding that she was confident that "I can get a deal that allows us to strike our own trade deals while having a border with the European Union which is as frictionless as possible". "It enables parliament to dictate to government its course of action in an worldwide negotiation".

The upshot of the shift may well be as dramatic as the parliamentary procedure is incomprehensible.

May had feared a rebellion by members of her Conservative Party over the motion, one of 15 submitted by the unelected upper House of Lords being considered by MPs over the course of two days. The bill then returns to the House of Commons again later next week.

But after the prime minister personally assured a group of around 15 rebels that Mr Grieve's amendment would be partially adopted into the Bill before it went back to the Lords the rebels backed down.

Yesterday May agreed in principle to give MPs significant powers to shape the Brexit process. This is Lords ping pong & if we were to defeat the government on the compromise amendment from the Lords it would revert back to the unamended clause which everyone, including the Tories, thought was deficient.

Parliament will vote Tuesday on a key piece of legislation, the E.U. Withdrawal bill, that would transfer European Union laws now on British books into British law after Brexit.

In a painful blow the the PM, Remain-supporting MP Philip Lee quit as justice minister this morning, saying he could not support "how our country's exit from the European Union looks set to be delivered".

But government officials admitted that the concession does constrain their freedom in the Brexit talks. The prime minister still has time to come up with a form of words acceptable to both sides, but the expectations of the anti-Brexit rebels have been raised significantly.

Dr Lee said his main objection to Government policy was over the "wish to limit Parliament's role in contributing to the final outcome" and signalled he would rebel on the issue in the Commons later.

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