Thursday, 20 September, 2018

U.K.'s May Scrambles for Brexit Compromise as Tory Tensions Rise

U.K.'s May Scrambles for Brexit Compromise as Tory Tensions Rise U.K.'s May Scrambles for Brexit Compromise as Tory Tensions Rise
Patty Aguilar | 13 June, 2018, 16:43

Rebels had been pushing for an amendment that would have given Parliament unprecedented powers over the final stages of Brexit talks. How does parliament have a say in those circumstances?

Nick said: "You were told what to do, why won't you do it?"

A group of backbenchers had been planning to back an alternative amendment spearheaded by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, which would have given MPs a greater say over the Brexit process. "I am confident I can get a deal that allows us to strike our own trade deals while having a border with the European Union which is as frictionless as possible", she said.

307 Conservative MPs backed the government, which is a strong result for Theresa May, who just hours earlier had feared she would lose her majority due to disgruntled Tory MPs.

The current "meaningful vote" offered by the Government allows MPs to accept or reject the Brexit deal, but the proposed change would see MPs take control of the negotiation aims.

Parliament will vote Tuesday on a key piece of legislation, the E.U. Withdrawal bill, that would transfer European Union laws now on British books into British law after Brexit.

For some time the government Chief Whip Julian Smith had been flitting round the Chamber talking to his troops - then he went and had a word with the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland, the government's in-house legal eagle, who is dealing with the techie legal aspects of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

I am concerned obviously because amendment 19 from the House of Lords was defeated yesterday and any derivative of it is an unashamed wrecking motion to Brexit.

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. After losing her party's majority in parliament at an ill-judged election a year ago, she now relies on the support of a small Northern Irish party and the distance between victory and defeat is narrow.

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"The decision was taken by the people, we gave them that decision and we have to stand by it", said Conservative MP Bill Cash.

Mr 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.

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

"I trust the prime minister".

The rebels pulled back from voting against May in Parliament in London on Tuesday but only after she made a dramatic last minute appeal to them to trust her. May's been resisting the demand because she doesn't want her hands to be tied during the talks.

In a day of drama, May's position seemed suddenly weaker when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of the government's Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, Mr Bridgen accused Tory Remainers supportive of Dominic Grieve's amendment to the Brexit bill of deliberatively attempting to stop the United Kingdom leaving the European Union completely.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: "As has become a tradition in Brexit negotiations, the Tories have been forced to cobble together a compromise".

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