Don't tie our hands, says United Kingdom govt, as Brexit debate begins

22 June, 2018, 12:33 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Keir Starmer

They are rallying around a move to give the House of Commons power to send the government back to the negotiating table with Brussels if lawmakers don't like the terms of the Brexit deal struck with the EU.

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.

Morgan said if a compromise amendment did not emerge, rebels could work with the Lords to ensure the changes took place.

After days of division and bitter rows between Brexiteers and Remainers in the Tory ranks, Mrs May was able to see off another amendment that would have tied Britain to the customs union post-Brexit by 325 votes to 298, majority 27.

A Department for Exiting the European Union spokesman said: "The Brexit Secretary has set out three tests that any new amendment has to meet - not undermining the negotiations, not changing the constitutional role of Parliament and Government in negotiating worldwide treaties, and respecting the referendum result".

They said: "We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the government's hands in the negotiations".

The government won the first set of votes Tuesday, but looked set to face defeat on the issue of whether Parliament should have a "meaningful vote" on the Brexit deal.

But part C - arguably the most controversial section of the proposal - has been pushed back, with Theresa May apparently promising to have further discussions in the Lords and Commons as ping pong between the two Houses of Parliament continues. They should find an agreement by the end of the week before the bill returns to the House of Lords.

It is not clear whether that will win over potential rebels.

Many lawmakers said it seemed likely that Britain would have to remain in a customs union with the EU, even though the government insists it will leave.

Theresa May is facing 48 hours of parliamentary warfare as the Prime Minister battles to get her Brexit legislation back on track.




"We hope for support from all wings of the party when we bring forward Brexit policy", the spokesman said.

Remain-supporting Dr Lee quit as justice minister live on stage during a speech in London, saying he could not support "how our country's exit from the European Union looks set to be delivered".

Party officials have been frantically lobbying lawmakers to try to persuade those who have threatened to vote against the government to stay in line, using arguments ranging from the threat being turfed out by a government led by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to losing any leverage in Brexit talks.

Brexit-backers objected as it would have all but removed the no-deal nuclear option from negotiators' arsenal.

The cumulative effect of 14 Lords amendments which the Government is seeking to overturn could be to "make it impossible to deliver the smooth and orderly exit we want", he warned.

"We are walking on a tightrope at the moment, we campaigned for remain but many of our MPs, including myself, now represent seats which voted heavily leave", John McDonnell, the party's economy spokesman and Corbyn's right-hand man said at an event in London on Wednesday.

The MP says he will back a knife edge vote created to give parliament the power to vote down May's Brexit deal.

"Time will tell as to whether this is just another attempt to buy off the rebels or a real attempt at consensus".

"This Government is delivering on the decision made by the country in the referendum to leave the European Union and we will not accept anything that prevents us from taking back control of our money, laws and borders".

The fall-out from Britain's referendum vote in 2016 to leave the European Union has reshaped politics, deepening divisions within its main parties and raising tensions between its four nations - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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