Saturday, 22 September, 2018

The lesson of today's government climbdown: we're likely heading for soft Brexit

Patty Aguilar | 13 June, 2018, 08:21

Facing the prospect of losing a vote on a crucial amendment to the government's flagship Brexit legislation - which was created to empower parliament to vote down the final deal without risking a "no-deal" exit from the bloc - ministers intervened with a concession at the 11th hour even as MPs were wrapping up debate on the controversial measure.

The results could also deliver a further blow to Prime Minister Theresa May's authority, which was severely damaged when she.

To buy off a group of Tory rebels - whose ranks were boosted by the shock resignation of Justice Minister Phillip Lee Tuesday morning - the prime minister agreed in principle, according to the rebels, to write into law a new deadline in the Brexit talks: November 30, 2018.

Traders will stay tuned into Brexit noise where the UK Prime Minister faces a series of challenging parliamentary votes on her plan to leave the customs union and single market after Brexit, but it will soon be time for the European Central Bank and FOMC.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston said on Monday morning she was "minded" to defy party orders and back the meaningful vote amendment.

Commenting on the government's actions to avoid a defeat over the "meaningful vote" demands, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "This vote was about ensuring Parliament was given a proper role in the Brexit negotiations and that we avoid a no deal situation, which is becoming more likely with the divisions at the heart of this government".

These were the words of a minister expecting to win the vote.

On Wednesday, parliament will consider a challenge to May's commitment to leave the EU's single market and customs union, which will transform Britain's future trading relationships for many years to come.

The House of Commons is deciding whether to reject changes made to the EU Withdrawal Bill by the House of Lords in a two-day debate taking place today and tomorrow.

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His competing amendment could force ministers to hand over control of its Brexit strategy to parliament if there is no deal by mid-February.

The government has been criticised for not allowing time to debate the Irish border during a series of key Brexit votes at Westminster.

But just an hour before the vote, due at around 1500 GMT, the government sought to compromise with senior pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve, who had put forward his own amendment, which increased the risk of a government defeat.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has warned Conservative Party rebels that proposals to give Parliament the power to direct negotiations with the European Union are simply a tactic to overturn the results of the 2016 referendum that mandated Britain's departure from the bloc.

Britons voted 52 percent to 48 percent in favour of leaving the European Union in a June 2016 referendum.

Opening the debate, Brexit Secretary David Davis insisted the government would abide by three principles to defend the will of the British people. He said that while he was sad to leave the government, he believed many big changes were needed to make the U.K.'s exit a success.

The EU published an explainer of its own backstop proposal in a bid to convince the United Kingdom government of its merits, but Theresa May has said it is not acceptable because it creates a regulatory border between Northern Ireland and the UK.

Theresa May saw off a revolt from the pro-European wing of her fractured party, averting what could have been a major political crisis.

Brexit protesters outside Parliament House.

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