Sunday, 18 November, 2018


British PM May Faces Another Day of Brexit Compromise in Parliament

Brexit Secretary David Davis Brexit Secretary David Davis
Bennie Garza | 14 June, 2018, 16:21

The prime minister told lawmakers she would honor Tuesday's promise to discuss ways to hand parliament more powers over Brexit, saying she would put forward a new amendment to the withdrawal bill.

In the end MPs voted by 324 to 298 to reject a House of Lords amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which would have given MPs the power to tell the prime minister to go back and renegotiate the Brexit deal.

It was always doomed to fail because it was opposed by the Labour party.

The government won the first set of votes Tuesday but looked set to face defeat on the issue of whether Parliament should have a "meaningful vote" on the Brexit deal.

Mr Corbyn said: "I understand the difficulties MPs representing constituencies which voted strongly for Leave or Remain have on the EEA amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill".

However, May made a last minute offer to enter talks about accepting the bulk of an alternative rebel amendment which would give MPs more limited powers to prevent Britain from crashing out of the European Union without a deal.

Pro-EU Conservative MPs, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan.

A Department for Exiting the European Union spokesman said: "The Brexit Secretary has set out three tests that any new amendment has to meet - not undermining the negotiations, not changing the constitutional role of Parliament and Government in negotiating worldwide treaties, and respecting the referendum result".

Another flashpoint could come when lawmakers vote Wednesday on an amendment seeking to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU.

It also imperils the now invisible border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an European Union member. The Times reported on Thursday that Brexit-supporting ministers besides Davis believed May had "deceived" them by keeping them in the dark about the backstop document.

The Bracknell MP, who called for a second referendum on whatever deal Mrs May secures from the European Union, later told the Commons there was growing evidence that the Government's Brexit policy is "detrimental to the people we were elected to serve".

In turn, a UK government spokesperson said: "The Prime Minster has been clear that we will never accept a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom".

Mr Grieve warned that if the Government failed to offer an adequate compromise, it would not be "the end of the matter". Jeremy Corbyn's opposition Labour is in a similar bind.

Like the Conservatives however, the Labour Party has committed itself to restricting the free movement of people between Europe and Britain, violating one of the "four freedoms" which Brussels insists are non-negotiable for membership of its institutions.

327 MPs voted against the EEA, while 126 voted for it. Majority: 201.

After days of frantic lobbying by Conservative officials to try to get the party on board, May renewed appeals for unity over the "meaningful vote", after the government appeared to have secured a compromise to stop a similar rebellion on Wednesday over Britain's trading ties with the EU. However, the party is divided on the issue, with a total of 89 Labour MPs choosing to defy Corbyn.

Before the vote on the Labour amendment, which the party lost by 322 to 240, lawmaker Laura Smith resigned from her junior role in the team "shadowing" the cabinet office and five others left their roles as parliamentary private secretaries.

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