Theresa May faces fresh Brexit showdown

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 20, 2018

"Parliament must have a meaningful vote in the event of a no deal Brexit", pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Heidi Allen said on Twitter.

Now she faces a bruising battle to push the flagship legislation through.

May, who leads a minority government, won a similar vote last week in the lower house but only after offering to reach a compromise with the rebels which subsequently fell through.

Britain's upper house of parliament will consider any changes made to proposed Brexit laws on Wednesday evening, shortly after they have been voted upon by the lower house of parliament, the opposition Labour Party said.

Some of her opponents on Brexit may simply have chose to keep their powder dry for later fights on issues such as future trading ties and customs arrangements with the bloc before Britain's scheduled departure in March next year. They will back a competing amendment by pro-EU Conservative Dominic Grieve which he says will steer Britain away from the "extraordinary crisis" of leaving without a deal.

"You can not enter a negotiation without the right to walk away", Brexit Secretary David Davis told lawmakers. "It is about making sure parliament has a truly meaningful say on the terms of the final Brexit deal".

Grieve said he now saw he needed to take account of May's concerns over the state of the negotiations, which have all but stalled because of divisions in her government.

The result of the vote is expected to be close.

May's government is divided between Brexit-backing ministers such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who support a clean break with the European Union, and those such as Treasury chief Philip Hammond who want to keep closely aligned to the bloc, Britain's biggest trading partner. He also said he had been reassured by a statement saying it was up to the parliamentary speaker to grant lawmakers greater influence over ministers.

A paper setting out the U.K. government position on future relations, due to be published this month, has been delayed until July because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance. "The disruption that would create to the economy, not only on the continent but certainly in Britain, would be huge and that we have to avoid".

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