Monday, 25 June, 2018


Government wins Brexit bill vote after concessions

Bennie Garza | 13 June, 2018, 02:48

Theresa May is to asks MPs to show unity this week as the Government's Brexit legislation returns to the Commons this week in a crucial vote.

Conservative lawmaker Phillip Lee, who had voted to remain in the European Union, resigned as the justice minister so he could speak out against the policy on Brexit.

The Brexit Secretary warned that the UK's entire approach to negotiations with the EU is at risk of being undermined by amendments to its flagship EU Withdrawal bill.

Also on Tuesday, the government successfully overturned an attempt to remove the date of Brexit from the face of the bill.

The government also managed to block the meaningful vote amendment, that would have meant a softer Brexit.

Pro-Brexit members of the government want to be able to play the "no deal" card, but the House of Commons, where pro-EU voices are stronger, would nearly certainly reject the idea.

In a day of drama at Westminster, ministers caved into the rebel demands for a "meaningful vote" on Brexit in order to prevent a defeat on the EU Withdrawal bill which could have triggered a leadership crisis for the prime minister.

Mr Grieve withdrew his own amendment, which would have given MPs powers to dictate what the Government should do if no acceptable agreement is reached by February 2019. The two sides aren't yet clear exactly on the terms of their deal, but it looks likely that Parliament will emerge with a greater say in the process.

Lawmakers backed a government plan, ending a rebellion that would have challenged May's authority at a time when she is increasingly under pressure to move ahead with all-but stalled Brexit talks in Brussels by offering a more detailed plan.

Further clashes were expected on Wednesday during debate on amendments relating to how closely Britain stays aligned with the EU's economy after leaving.

The Daily Express, another pro-Brexit tabloid, issued a thinly-veiled threat to lawmakers, saying they should "Ignore the will of the people at [their] peril".

The parts of his amendment which he expects to be taken forward by ministers provide a mechanism by which Parliament has to be consulted by the end of November in the event of no deal or if a proposed agreement is rejected, he said.

His resignation didn't prompt an immediate response from the government, but at the eleventh hour, ministers evidently feared a Commons defeat.

The concession means MPs could be given power to prevent Britain leaving the European Union without a deal.

Despite Mr Rees-Mogg backing the Prime Minister, other Brexiteers are furious that Mrs May has killed off the prospect of a no deal Brexit.

"That was the decision of the British people. and whatever we do, we're not going to reverse that", he told the BBC.

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