Don’t tie our hands in Brexit negotiations, British government tells parliament

U.K. Minister Phillip Lee Resigns Ahead of Brexit Bill Showdown

U.K. Minister Phillip Lee Resigns Ahead of Brexit Bill Showdown

However, Devon Tory Sarah Wollaston signalled that she would back Mr Grieve's amendment.

The government's victory was the first major win in two days of debates on its European Union withdrawal bill, which will sever ties with the European Union, after the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, introduced 15 changes.

Remain-supporting Conservative MPs had threatened to back an amendment to the bill which would have given parliament a more widespread veto.

Commenting on the Prime Minister's promises, he said: "I have every confidence after speaking with the Prime Minister that we will be able to do that".

"I can not support the government's decision to oppose this amendment because doing so breaches such fundamental principles of human rights and parliamentary sovereignty", he said.

The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg said she had been told by a government source that no actual concessions had been agreed, and the only agreement was to keep talking.

Crucially, ministers have conceded that if MPs vote down the Withdrawal Agreement with Brussels, that will not result in the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union with no deal - a scenario that few MPs would countenance because of the significant economic damage it would entail.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is in a frantic search for the flawless compromise.

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

Soubry then asked Speaker of the House John Bercow if he would condemn any abuse dished out to MPs throughout the course of the Brexit bill's vote.


Leading Conservative rebels welcomed the "important concessions" by the government, but insisted that ministers must follow through on their concession or face a defeat when the bill returns to the House of Commons later this month.

Remainer Stephen Hammond said a group of potential rebels - believed to number 15-20 - received assurances from the PM moments before the key vote.

But pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve said that with the government's move "I am quite satisfied that we are going to get a meaningful vote on both "deal" and "no deal" scenarios.

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".

"If, in the future, I am to look my children in the eye and honestly say that I did my best for them I can not, in all good conscience, support how our country's current exit from the European Union looks set to be delivered", he said.

If agreed, ministers would have until the end of November this year to secure a Brexit deal before seeking the approval of parliament.

Brexit minister David Davis had earlier warned lawmakers that the government would never allow them to "reverse Brexit" or undermine negotiations. There were 14 of us in the room.

"However, facing the prospect of a humiliating defeat Theresa May has been forced to enter negotiations with her backbenchers and offer a so-called concession".

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said the government remained "open-minded", but this may or may not result in it coming forward with new proposals in the coming days.

"It's a really interesting point - we had no time to discuss it". "At the start of this process, we had no vote in Parliament on the final deal at all".

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