Pro-EU Tories warn PM: keep your word or face fresh rebellion

Adjust Comment Print

The pound strengthened 0.3 percent against the dollar to $1.3424 after parliament voted to back the government on several amendments to the European Union withdrawal bill.

During a frantic day of discussions between ministers and Conservative backbenchers, potential rebels were eventually persuaded to back down when Solicitor General Robert Buckland told MPs that ministers were willing to "engage positively" with their concerns. "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.

Former Tory cabinet minister Dominic Grieve, who tried to broker a compromise between MPs and ministers, has warned a no-deal scenario could lead to a "national crisis".

Given that after November 30, the House of Commons looks set to be empowered in the negotiations, it would not be in Barnier's interest to negotiate a harder form of Brexit before the U.K.'s self-imposed deadline.

In an earlier vote, MPs voted by 328 votes to 297 to disagree with another Lords amendment which was linked to changes to the day Britain leaves the EU.

Leading Conservative rebels welcomed the "important concessions" by the government, but insisted that ministers must follow through on their concession or face a defeat when the bill returns to the House of Commons later this month. "I am sure a sensible amendment will be forthcoming which we can all agree to". It opposes the other 14 and will be seeking to overturn them, though in some cases it is offering a compromise solution.

Tuesday's Commons debate marked the start of the government's attempts to undo most of the changes to its EU Withdrawal Bill that were put forward by the House of Lords.

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

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".

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

MPs voted down the Lords amendment on "sifting regulations" by a majority of 22.

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

Some MPs wanted a meaningful vote to give Parliament a real say - and vote - over the final Brexit deal negotiated by the United Kingdom and the European Union, rather than just accepting whatever is presented by the Government.

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

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.

Pro-EU lawmakers, however, welcomed it as a signal that the government was moving towards ruling out a hardline "no deal" Brexit. "That's what this House voted on Article 50".

Attention has focused on June 12 on the so-called "meaningful vote" amendment, which would give parliament the power to decide what to do if it rejects the final Brexit deal.

Comments