The lesson of today's government climbdown: we're likely heading for soft Brexit

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 13, 2018

Theresa May was forced into a major compromise yesterday when she had to agree to give parliament a greater role in Brexit negotiations to avert a defeat at the hands of rebels from her own party who want to keep close European Union ties after Britain leaves.

The amendment could effectively hand control of the Brexit process to parliament if it goes ahead.

The SNP doesn't have any Lords because of an ideological disagreement with the concept of an unelected upper house - but it does have plenty of MPs in the Commons.

Protesters outside the UK Parliament in central London.

"But if the Lords amendments are allowed to stand, that negotiating position will be undermined".

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.

"The government can not demonstrate the flexibility necessary for a successful deal if its hands are tied midway through that process", Davis said.

The former attorney general said: "The government agreed that the amendment raised an important issue, that the matter about the ability of Parliament to have a meaningful vote not just on the final deal but also on "no deal" had to be allowed".

But in a last-ditch concession by the Government to swerve a revolt, the PM is indicating that it will put forward two of the three parts of Mr Grieve's amendment when the bill returns to the House of Lords.

In a painful blow the the PM, Remain-supporting MP Philip Lee quit as justice minister this morning, saying he could not support "how our country's exit from the European Union looks set to be delivered".

Phillip Lee, who resigned this morning, gave an impassioned speech from the "naughty corner" on the backbenches - flanked by Remainers including Bob Neill, Nicky Morgan, receiving congratulations for his decision by Soubry and Sarah Wollaston. Philip Lee said a choice between "bad and worse" options was not giving MPs a meaningful vote.

This included the House of Commons having to approve any government action in Brexit talks if it has not reached an exit deal with the European Union by the end of November.

"I'm quite satisfied that we are going to get a meaningful vote on both "deal" and "no deal", Grieve told Sky News.

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.

Britain is due to leave on March 29, 2019, and the bloc is frustrated with what it sees as a lack of firm proposals from the U.K about future relations.

Matthew Pennycook, one of the opposition Labour Party's Brexit policy team, urged lawmakers to vote to hand parliament more powers.

A paper laying out the UK government position, due to be published this month, has been delayed because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance.

Parliamentary debates about complex legal amendments rarely rouse much heat, but passions run high over anything to do with Brexit.

"This needs to be resolved", Andrew Bridgen, a pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker, told Reuters. The Daily Express featured the British flag as its front page with the headline: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

Underlining the fear that pro-EU Conservative rebels could vote against the government, May addressed lawmakers in her party at a meeting of its 1922 Committee to try to rally the troops before facing the first day of hard votes.

Pro-Brexit Conservative MP Edward Leigh slammed pro-EU colleagues, saying Parliament must respect the result of the June 2016 voter referendum.

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