Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

May wins Brexit vote, avoids rebellion


Solicitor General Robert Buckland promised to work on the proposal taking into account concerns raised by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, a leading pro-European rebel.

David Davis has written to Tory MPs urging them to unite behind Theresa May in today's crucial vote in the Commons.

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.

Conservative Brexit campaigners accused those in the party who indicated they would vote against the government of not respecting the referendum result.

The government won the vote after last-minute horse-trading, some of it in the open on the floor of the House of Commons - some behind closed doors.

"We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the government's hands in the negotiations". "I'm fairly confident we will be able to do that".

However, despite backing down, pro-Remain Tories signalled they would not be easily consoled by a compromise offered by ministers.

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.

"In all conscience, I can not support the Government's decision to oppose this amendment because doing so breaches such fundamental principles of human rights and Parliamentary sovereignty".

Earlier Phillip Lee - who quit as a justice minister to oppose the government on Brexit - received a round of applause after he set out his stance.

"This justifies my decision to resign and makes it a lot less painful".

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If some of its leave-supporting lawmakers choose to vote against the amendment, the government could avoid defeat altogether.

Well what the Remainer MPs thought they heard from May does not seem compatible with Davis's red lines.

A spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: "On the meaningful vote we have agreed to look for a compromise when this goes back to the Lords".

He confirmed that ministers will seek to overturn 14 amendments which he said would undermine the objective of the Bill and fail to respect the result of the 2016 referendum.

He said a concession of this kind would been "revolutionary" as the Commons can not override the government when it came to negotiating worldwide treaties.

Asked whether such concessions would nowAsked whether such concessions would hamper Britain's negotiating hand, Mr Grieve continued: "I disagree with that entirely".

The legislation is now back before the House of Commons after a total of 15 defeats by the House of Lords.

In a battle of wills between the prime minister and the House of Commons on Tuesday, it was Theresa May who emerged weakened having been pushed into a series of significant concessions to anti-Brexit Conservative MPs in order to fend off a damaging parliamentary defeat.

Details of the government's commitment will have to be formalised next week in a new amendment to the bill.

The government's eleventh hour amendment, lifted in large parts from Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve's own proposal and to be presented to the Lords on Monday, is expected to give MPs the right to veto the government's strategy if it fails to secure a political agreement with the European Union by 30 November.

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