Will Theresa May be defeated on the Brexit meaningful vote?

Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London Britain

Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London Britain

Prime Minister Theresa May looked set to avoid an embarrassing defeat in parliament on Wednesday over her post-Brexit trade plans, a day after she defused a rebellion in her party over control of Britain's departure from the EU.

Parliament must decide whether to support an amendment approved by the House of Lords that could mean sending May back into negotiations with the European Union if lawmakers reject a Brexit deal.

Mrs May narrowly avoided losing a major vote on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday by offering last-minute concessions to Tory MPs who fear the government could decide on its own to leave the bloc with no deal.

"The British people voted to leave the European Union, and as prime minister I am determined to deliver that", May told parliament.

The SNP leader at Westminster Ian Blackford was ejected for repeatedly refusing to sit down after Bercow, declined his request for an immediate vote on holding a new debate on the Brexit issue.

British lawmakers voted down an amendment that would give Members of Parliament the power to veto the government's Brexit deal with Brussels.

But officials insisted the Government had not and would not agree to MPs binding its hands and a senior minister would only go as far as saying there "could" be a fresh proposal put forward.

Dominic 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. These kinds of promises by the government are fundamental to the way in which parliament and the government work together to craft legislation that the majority of MPs can live with.

The concession came after intensive horse-trading on the floor of the House of Commons, with chief whip Julian Smith shuttling between Tory backbenchers during debate on Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The Commission has expressed its concerns, including its position that London's proposal is overly complex and hard to implement, through the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.

Although the vote was technically a victory for May, her political sway appeared severely weakened as two competing wings of her Conservative party bickered over how close Britain ought to remain to the EU.

"Any agreements must create as little friction as possible for trade", she said, adding: "We must not constrain our ability to negotiate trade agreements with other countries around the world by being bound into a customs union".

The commons chamber may have been the place in which everything was being played out in public, but the real debate and negotiation had already happened elsewhere - in the prime minister's parliamentary office.

Cabinet secretary David Lidington said the Government agreed with the "spirit" of the amendment, which is effectively "a statement of government policy" and said ministers would allow it to pass with a few tweaks to the legal language.

Earlier May suffered a setback when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.