United Kingdom minister resigns, plans to rebel over parliament's Brexit role

Former PM says May could be ousted if EU vote goes against government

Former PM says May could be ousted if EU vote goes against government

Pro-EU Tories want guarantees that Parliament will be able to stop the government taking Britain out of the EU without a deal, if negotiations break down in Brussels.

Her mission is clear: to find a way to unite the warring Brexit factions in her party before they derail the government.

An hour before the vote, the government's solicitor general, Robert Buckland, promised lawmaker Dominic Grieve talks on increasing the powers of parliament if May was unable to reach agreement in Brussels.

While promising "further discussions", he said he was concerned that empowering Parliament to "instruct" ministers what to do in the event of no deal would leave the United Kingdom in "very rocky constitutional territory".

The UK will leave the European Union on 29 March next year.

Government sources confirmed ministers will now discuss the possible incorporation of these elements of Mr Grieve's proposals into the legislation.

"The question of what form parliamentary approval of the withdrawal bill takes is one of the most significant decisions this house will have to take", he said.

Consequently a defeat on a number of Lords amendments to the European Union withdrawal bill was avoided, but there are further votes tomorrow.

In Tuesday's key vote, the government headed off a potential Conservative backbench rebellion and the vote passed by 324 votes to 298.

Ms Soubry warned: "Never before have we been in a situation where we have a Cabinet who is so divided".

Politics is often about the big picture, but sometimes it is a festival for pedants.

"I hope very much that that is going to happen".

Passions ran high in Tuesday's three-hour debate, when angry eurosceptics accused their rivals of trying to undermine the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.

May's decision to leave the customs union, which sets tariffs for goods imported into the EU, has also been criticised for raising the prospect of a "hard" border on the island of Ireland, which some fear could reignite sectarian violence.

"If it were to turn out there was a problem, we will deal with it".

Dismissing the Government's compromise, she tweeted: "Merely issuing a statement in response would make it a meaningless final vote".

"What it does is put in place a structure if things do go as planned", she said. "I'm fairly confident we will be able to do that".

The government won the vote after last-minute horse-trading, some of it in the open on the floor of the House of Commons - some behind closed doors. If the compromise fails, the rebels are likely to revert back to their original motion, which would potentially strip May of control over running the Brexit negotiations and hand it to Parliament, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Time will tell as to whether this is just another attempt to buy off the rebels or a real attempt at consensus. There is an expectation that a discussion will yield fruit and I am not saying it won't".

He rejected suggestions ministers were already backtracking on promises made to MPs, insisting he did not want to raise any "false expectations".

"There is no inconsistency here".

Conservative lawmaker Phillip Lee, who voted to remain in the European Union in Britain's 2016 referendum, resigned as a justice minister so he could vote against the government on a key measure.

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.

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