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

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Phillip Lee accused the government of trying to limit parliament's role in shaping Britain's departure from the European Union and said the government's Brexit strategy was detrimental to the British people. Lee, who voted for Britain to remain in the E.U.in the 2016 referendum, said in a statement he was "incredibly sad" to resign but did so in order to vote against the government's position on a key amendment to the bill.

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.

The Lords amendment would have given parliament the power to decide what happened next, with the possibility of going back to the negotiating table or even staying in the bloc.

May is resisting changes approved by the House of Lords that would soften Britain's exit from the European Union, because she says they will weaken the government's negotiating position. How does parliament have a say in those circumstances?

MPs will hold further votes on the EU Withdrawal Bill on Wednesday, including a House of Lords demand for the United Kingdom to remain in the EU's single market.

The concession on a meaningful vote came after intensive horse-trading on the floor of the House of Commons, with chief whip Julian Smith shuttling between Tory backbenchers during debate on Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Moments later, MPs voted by 324 to 298 to reject a House of Lords amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have given Parliament the power to tell the PM to go back and renegotiate the Brexit deal she secures from Brussels.

"If we don't achieve a deal at all, the fact is we are going to be facing an huge crisis", he told MPs.

Just three hours later, ministers caved in.


But if the amendments being debated in Parliament this week force a change to the government's negotiating strategy, the wound could yet reopen. She now relies on the support of a small Northern Irish party.

Those developments are likely to lower expectations of a Bank of England interest rate rise in August, given the central bank has said it wants to see more wage pressures before it increases borrowing costs.

Under the proposal, if no deal has been reached with Brussels by this point, the government will return to the House of Commons to determine the next course of action.

If May is defeated by a wide margin her position as Prime Minister could be threatened.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland promised to discuss incorporating concerns raised by former attorney general and rebel Dominic Grieve. "That's what we were voting for last night". May's been resisting the demand because she doesn't want her hands to be tied during the talks.

This came after a last-minute resignation by the justice minister Dr Phillip Lee, who said he could no longer look his children in the eye and vote to support 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.

Conservative Brexit campaigners accused those in the party who indicated they would vote against the government of not respecting the referendum result.

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