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

13 June, 2018, 01:09 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Prominent pro Remain Conservatives fear a defeat in the Commons could lead Boris Johnson to launch a leadership bid

The proposals, which are expected to form the basis of a new amendment in the Lords, would mean that in the event of parliament rejecting the government's final Brexit deal, ministers would have seven days to set out a fresh approach.

Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer believes that a Norway-style deal with the EU would not prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland and that becoming a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) - effectively keeping Britain in the EU single market - would be "totally incompatible" with the need to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, the Independent wrote.

The government won the vote after last-minute horse-trading, some of it in the open on the floor of the House of Commons - some behind closed doors.

Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme what would happen under Government plans if MPs voted against the deal eventually secured by Mrs May, Mr Davis said: "If they throw it out, well, they throw it out". If the government fails to pass the bill as it is, it will be forced to change what it asks for in negotiations with the European Union -undermining May's position and possibly threatening her job as Prime Minister.

This assurance was enough to convince Tory rebels to vote with the government.

Mr. Lee resigned from the Ministry of Justice to back the amendment, saying parliament should be able to direct the government to change course.

Opening the debate in parliament, the Brexit secretary, David Davis, had said the government could not accept anything that could undermine May, hinting that the amendments proposed by Lords and Tory rebels would hamper negotiations.


It is thought that both the government and the Remainer group of Tory MPs consider the outcome to be a success.

An hour before the vote, the government's solicitor general, Robert Buckland, promised lawmaker Dominic Grieve talks on increasing the powers of parliament if May was unable to reach agreement in Brussels.

The E.U. (Withdrawal) Bill is the draft law that would set the legal framework for Brexit and Ms.

Earlier, most of the original 11 rebels on the meaningful vote amendment had indicated that they would stand firm. Currently, the government is offering lawmakers a "take it or leave it" vote on the final deal.

But the former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke has urged pro-EU rebels to hold their nerve, arguing that if they succeeded they would strengthen Mrs May's hand against the Brexit hardliners in the Cabinet.

In Tuesday's key vote, the government headed off a potential Conservative backbench rebellion and the vote passed by 324 votes to 298.

However, a compromise appeared in sight last night after Remainers and Brexiteers backed a call for ministers to report on attempts to agree a customs "arrangement".

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