Theresa May's Brexit plans set for defeat

Remigio Civitarese
Июня 19, 2018

The new Lords amendment will go back to the Commons on Wednesday for another vote.

Viscount Hailsham speaking in the Lords debate on the European Union withdrawl bill.

The outcome of that row, playing out in the intricate process of passing different proposals between parliament's two chambers over the coming days, will define May's ability to face down rebels who want a softer version of Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May has warned against any moves to "tie her hands" during negotiations with Brussels, saying on Monday that Parliament must not be able to "overturn the will of the British people".

A leading pro-European Union lawmaker in Britain's ruling Conservative Party said he did not want the government to collapse in the row over parliament's role in the Brexit process. "If we have no deal at the end it is a very serious crisis", he said.

The unelected House of Lords voted 354 to 235 in favour of a plan that would allow parliament to shape the government's next steps in the event that lawmakers reject the deal May negotiates with Brussels, or if she fails to negotiate one.

Brexit graphic
Brexit graphic

"But as we do that, of course we have been listening to concerns about the role of Parliament, but we need to make sure that Parliament can't tie the government's hands in negotiation and can't overturn the will of the British people".

Crucially, the motion will be unamendable, meaning MPs can not insert a requirement for Mrs May to go back to the negotiating table, extend the Brexit transition or revoke the UK's withdrawal under Article 50.

Mr Grieve insisted rebels would only accept a "meaningful vote" and not the "slavery clause" the government was offering.

The Lords has inflicted another heavy defeat on the government's Brexit bill.

He added: "The Government's amendment not only fails to deliver the promised meaningful vote".

That would tee up a showdown when the bill returns for a more decisive vote in the elected House of Commons on Wednesday, where May's minority government can afford to lose no more than a handful of Conservative rebels. But this is far worse.

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