Tuesday, 11 December, 2018


Theresa May ‘scrapes through’ vote on customs bill

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves the BBC after appearing on the 'Andrew Marr Show', in central London Britain Theresa May ‘scrapes through’ vote on customs bill
Bennie Garza | 17 July, 2018, 22:56

Brexit-supporting Conservative backbenchers have forced the government to accept a series of amendments to its cross-border trade bill that appear to significantly alter the Brexit deal struck by the cabinet at Chequers.

Labour backs the idea of a customs union with the EU after Brexit - but the government says this would mean the United Kingdom is unable to strike its own worldwide trade deals.

They are not expected to pass, as the opposition Labour party will not support them, but will show how many MPs are prepared to publicly oppose the prime minister.

MPs in the House of Commons voted 305 to 301 to approve the amendment to the trade legislation.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for the second day of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2018.

The prime minister this weekend defended her plan, saying there was no alternative that protected trade in goods with the European Union and avoided border checks in Ireland.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr, May indicated she would seek to fight off any challenge that emerged before the summer recess, saying: "I want to focus people's minds on how you ensure you achieve that prize, the benefits of leaving the European Union".

Commons sources said the Government is going to bring forward a motion to end the parliamentary term early on Thursday, ditching plans to sit on Monday and Tuesday next week.

She said that would remove Britain's ability to have an independent trade policy and her government "will never stand for that".

Mrs May went down to defeat on a separate amendment to her flagship Trade Bill, which will require her to seek continued United Kingdom participation in the EU's system for regulation of medicines after Brexit.

Greening said that she would campaign to keep Britain in the European Union if a new referendum is held.

"The inevitable effect of the parliamentary arithmetic is that she will need to change it to keep the party united", he told BBC television.

These make it extremely difficult for the United Kingdom to negotiate a viable solution for avoiding a hard border on the island on Ireland, where the EU's new external border should be after Brexit, and to which May committed to keeping it open.

Discussing the Prime Minister's Chequers plan for Brexit she said: "I don't think it can work".

And he insisted: "I am simply asking the prime minister to hold to the pledges that she has made and to keep the government true to the commitments it has made". She said she and other senior Tory lawmakers favour a new vote.

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