PM appeals to rebels ahead of two-day Brexit debate

Theresa May addresses the final news conference of the G7 summit in Quebec Canada

Theresa May addresses the final news conference of the G7 summit in Quebec Canada

In a full statement later posted on his website, Lee said his resignation was a protest against the government's attempts to limit the role of MPs in shaping what sort of Brexit Britain will have.

In his speech, Lee slammed the government for fighting a crucial amendment, which will be voted Tuesday afternoon, created to give MPs the power to send the government back to Brussels to renegotiate the terms of Britain's departure should the House of Commons reject the final Brexit deal.

Passing the withdrawal bill would be a "turning point" in the Brexit process, he told the BBC's Sunday Politics, as it would be the basis for a "smooth transition" after the United Kingdom leaves.

Hours before the debate started, a justice minister who has always been critical of the handling of Brexit, resigned in protest at what he called the government's "wish to limit" the role of lawmakers in shaping Brexit and said he would vote against the prime minister.

It followed a meeting of the backbench 1922 committee this evening ahead of a series of crunch Commons votes in which Mrs May told MPs to consider the signal that would be sent to Brussels if the government was defeated.

May, who lost her party's majority at an ill-judged election past year, made a last-ditch appeal to lawmakers on Monday and Davis sent a letter making the same case - vote against the government and risk tying Britain's hands in the Brexit talks.


Prime Minister Theresa May could face a possible backbench revolt and she has urged potential Conservative rebels to support the government.

Speaking to reporters outside the meeting, Solicitor General Robert Buckland confirmed the Government was in discussions with rebels about establishing a fresh amendment committing to seek a customs arrangement - not a union - with the EU.

The government has also tried to stem rebellions by offering its own options - on the "meaningful vote", it has proposed a 28-day breathing space if parliament rejects a Brexit deal.

MPs will spend a total of 12 hours debating and voting on 14 Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill - six hours on Tuesday and six hours on Wednesday.

"But the message we send to the country through our votes this week is important".

Two key amendments are raising the most concern: one which instructs Mrs May to negotiate a customs union with the EU, the second, which gives Parliament a decisive say over the final Brexit deal.

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