Brexit: House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendment voted down by MPs

Brexit: House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendment voted down by MPs

Brexit: House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendment voted down by MPs

The possibility of a government defeat over the amendment began to look more likely after the junior Justice Minister Phillip Lee resigned from the government in order to vote for it.

Lawmakers backed a government plan, ending a rebellion that would have challenged May's authority at a time when she is increasingly under pressure to move ahead with all-but stalled Brexit talks in Brussels by offering a more detailed plan.

The government's eleventh hour amendment, lifted in large parts from Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve's own proposal and to be presented to the Lords on Monday, is expected to give MPs the right to veto the government's strategy if it fails to secure a political agreement with the European Union by 30 November.

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

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Despite depending on the votes of the 10 DUP MPs for her precarious Commons majority, there were signs of cautious optimism among ministers that they would get the numbers to see off the revolt. But a government official said they had just agreed to open talks on the basis of the rebel amendment.

On the return of the EU Withdrawal Bill for consideration by MPs on Tuesday, the government won all the day's votes as it overturned a series of House of Lords amendments to the key Brexit legislation.

"The reason for that is that the House of Commons if it sets out indications for how the Government should negotiate, it's a very inflexible body for doing that".

The concession allowed the government to defeat a Lords amendment calling for parliament to have "a meaningful vote" on any eventual Brexit deal by 324 votes to 298.

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Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve had been a repeat rebel in previous debates, but he voted with the government after "personal assurances" from Theresa May - because he is "quite satisfied" MPs will end up with a meaningful vote anyway.

The final vote, as outlined in Grieve third point, would be different as the government would then have to follow any direction given by the Commons. Although, as things stand, they will not be able to send the government back into negotiations if they reject an agreement with the EU.

"Grieve's amendment puts that right and in a way Govt could and should accept it". Yet now, with just hours to go before the parliamentary showdown, the Prime Minister looks as though she has brought her administration back from the brink.

The Prime Minister appeared to have defused a potentially explosive row over the EU customs union on Monday night as Tory pro-Europe rebels Sir Oliver Letwin and Nicky Morgan and Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Sir Bill Cash came together to table a separate compromise amendment backing "a customs arrangement" with the EU.

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