Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Government avoids defeat on Brexit bill

Government avoids defeat on Brexit bill

The government insisted it would not allow MPs to tie its hands in Brexit negotiations, despite being forced to offer a last-ditch concession to Tory rebels to stave off a House of Commons defeat.

"We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the government's hands in the negotiations". At this point, the main way in which a no-deal Brexit might happen is if the process simply runs out of time and the United Kingdom is unable to get Article 50 extended.

Lee's resignation came as May's fragile minority government scrambled to shore up support among lawmakers before two days of debate and votes in the House of Commons on its flagship Brexit bill.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland intervened four times during a speech by the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, whose amendment would effectively give MPs a veto on the government's negotiating agenda if a deal isn't done by the end of November.

In the end Lee abstained, saying he trusted the premier to give parliament a "voice" in a compromise motion due to be presented when the bill returns to the Lords on Monday.

"The government have conceded that this is necessary and I expect to see a new amendment to cover this situation soon".

"Secondly, we can not change the fundamental constitutional structure which makes the Government responsible for worldwide relations and global treaties".

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But ministers now know that a narrow but decisive Commons majority can be assembled against them on critical Brexit issues, and that its next outing could well be on a more substantive vote on a customs union.

The government has accepted one of the Lords amendments, allowing the United Kingdom to continue to co-operate with European Union agencies, which it says is already its policy.

But pro-EU Tory MP Heidi Allen warned that other members of the Government may follow Dr Lee out of the door.

Brexit Secretary David Davis, who reportedly has clashed with May, has warned Conservative Party rebels that proposals to give Parliament the power to direct negotiations with the European Union are simply a tactic to overturn the results of the 2016 referendum that mandated Britain's departure from the bloc.

After PMQs, a No 10 source was asked if that meant, "as far as the government's concerned, clause C is not up for discussion as part of this amendment?" Should the prime minister go back on her pledge, the rebels are confident their amendment will be inserted into the bill in the Lords.

A statement from the Brexit ministry said the government had agreed to "look for a compromise". "Labour will only vote for a final Brexit deal if it delivers a strong relationship with the single market based on full tariff-free access and ensures no loss of rights and standards", Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Facebook.

Traders will stay tuned into Brexit noise where the UK Prime Minister faces a series of challenging parliamentary votes on her plan to leave the customs union and single market after Brexit, but it will soon be time for the European Central Bank and FOMC. It opposes the other 14 and will be seeking to overturn them, though in some cases it is offering a compromise solution. "Now we have a real vote and an opportunity for Parliament to influence and approve the final deal", Nicky Morgan, a high-profile pro-EU lawmaker, said in an interview.

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