Published: Wed, June 13, 2018

British PM fends off Brexit parliamentary defeat

British PM fends off Brexit parliamentary defeat

One of the key points of difference between the Prime Minister and the rebels is a Lords amendment which states the Government must seek to negotiate a customs union with the EU. Grieve, a Remainer, endeavored to give parliament a meaningful say should a "no deal" Brexit become a prospect, reports The Guardian.

The Lords amendment would have given parliament the power to decide what happened next, with the possibility of going back to the negotiating table or even staying in the bloc.

The debate, which lasted for almost three hours, was split down the usual non-partisan lines that have emerged as a result of Brexit, with the likes of Labour's Kate Hoey and John Mann saying they would back the Conservative government, while Tories including Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry spoke in favour of Grieve. "The end of March 2019, we leave the E.U. Full stop".

Among the 14 amendments to the Bill - set to be voted on by MPs on Tuesday and Wednesday - are changes which would see the United Kingdom stay in the Single Market and would allow Parliament to dictate future negotiating terms.

The motion to reject the Lords amendment, which would have given MPs control over the government's negotiation strategy and the final exit deal, therefore passed by 324 votes to 298 - a majority of 26 votes.

Hours before the debate began, a justice minister resigned in protest at what he called its "wish to limit" the role of parliament in shaping Brexit.

"I absolutely trust what the Prime Minister says to us", he told BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

He said a concession of this kind would been "revolutionary" as the Commons can not override the government when it came to negotiating global treaties. After losing her party's majority in parliament at an ill-judged election a year ago, she now relies on the support of a small Northern Irish party and the distance between victory and defeat is narrow.


Opening the debate, Brexit Secretary David Davis insisted the government would abide by three principles to defend the will of the British people. If she fails to deliver on her promises, she will lose their goodwill and face a backlash she won't be able to contain, people familiar with the matter said.

"I trust the prime minister".

During a frantic day of discussions between ministers and Conservative backbenchers, potential rebels were eventually persuaded to back down when Solicitor General Robert Buckland told MPs that ministers were willing to "engage positively" with their concerns.

The main point of contention between those who want to keep the closest possible ties with the European Union and those who aim for a clean break is a demand to give parliament a "meaningful vote" on any agreement May negotiates with Brussels. May's been resisting the demand because she doesn't want her hands to be tied during the talks.

Bill revokes the 1972 Act which took the United Kingdom into the European Economic Area, but also transposes all relevant EU law into British statute so there are no holes in the law book at the point of Brexit.

While in the end, only two Tory MPs - Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry - voted against the government, there were clashes over how much of a say Parliament should get as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, with one side accusing the other of trying to "wreck" Brexit - and being accused in turn of being "zealots" who wanted to sideline Parliament.

The Government has won the first votes during today's Brexit showdown.

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