Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Brexit: likelihood of key amendments passing - TDS

Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London Britain Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London Britain
Kenny Thornton | 14 June, 2018, 21:33

Theresa May has seen off a potential defeat over her flagship Brexit bill, after last-minute concessions which could give MPs a bigger say on the final withdrawal agreement and make a "no-deal" exit much less likely.

Remain-backing former minister Anna Soubry insisted that Mrs May had agreed at Tuesday's meeting to discuss all elements of Mr Grieve's amendment - including the measure to allow MPs to take control of the process if no Brexit deal is struck by February. And around 15-20 pro-EU Tories are understood to have received assurances in a face-to-face discussion with the Prime Minister in her Commons office ahead of the vote.

On the second day of debate on changes to May's EU withdrawal bill, lawmakers will vote on amendments handed down from the upper house of parliament over Britain's relationship to the bloc's customs union and single market.

She is expected to come through the latest round of votes unscathed, with a potentially explosive clash over the customs union on Wednesday already defused by a compromise amendment.

She said: "I can not countenance Parliament being able to overturn the will of the British people: Parliament gave the decision to the British people, the British people voted to leave the European Union and as Prime Minister I'm determined to deliver that". With the first votes happening at 4.15pm this left time for only a handful of speeches from backbenchers before three hours of divisions on a set of amendments which included whether or not parliament would have a "meaningful vote" and so give it's seal of approval (or not) on the final Brexit deal.

Eurocrats also bemoan the fact that the United Kingdom government hasn't - in their opinion - been straight with voters, many of whom now have unrealistic expectations about the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

The government won all eleven votes by narrow majorities. Uncertainty about the exact content of May's promise should not last long, however, as the House of Lords will vote on the issue next week and shortly thereafter return it to the House of Commons.

Donald Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by right-wing lawmakers in Norway
In this handout photograph provided by The Strait Times, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un , left, is pictured with U.S. In 2009, the Nobel Peace Prize award to newly-elected US President Barack Obama was widely criticized as premature.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland later said leaving with a no deal and trading under World Trade Organisation rules would be inconsistent with Government policy on the Northern Ireland border.

Tory MP Mr Grieve later confirmed he would rebel against the Government by supporting the Lords EEA amendment, telling the Commons: "There becomes a point when you have to stand up and be counted, and if it's not this week it has to be next week".

Davis said this was a "no Brexit amendment" that amounted to "an unconstitutional shift that risks undermining our negotiations with the European Union".

"The prime minister said that the votes were important in terms of the message they send to Brussels", May's spokesman said she told her cabinet team of ministers.

If MPs accept that the government's offer of more talks is made in good faith, then the prime minister could escape a damaging parliamentary defeat, but she would emerge weakened.

But the resignation by Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of the government's Brexit strategy, underlined the deep rifts in the party over Brexit that makes such votes anything but easy.

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