United Kingdom government wins key Brexit parliamentary battle

GETTYTheresa May with Donald Tusk at this weekend's G7 summit

GETTYTheresa May with Donald Tusk at this weekend's G7 summit

It's been revealed ex-Tory ministers Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry rebelled against the government by voting against the motion to disagree with Lords amendment, created to give Parliament a vote to prevent a "no deal" Brexit.

"We had a personal assurance that we would find a way of addressing the concerns which are encapsulated in these amendments", Mr Grieve said as voting continued on Tuesday.

The debate, which lasted for almost three hours, was split down the usual non-partisan lines that have emerged as a result of Brexit, with the likes of Labour's Kate Hoey and John Mann saying they would back the Conservative government, while Tories including Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry spoke in favour of Grieve. "I'm fairly confident we will be able to do that". But there is going to be no binary choice of the deal on the table or no deal, with Parliament bypassed.

"It has got to be done in good faith, because without that, we will face a situation where in fact, firstly, the other place will put it back in and secondly the goodwill will be gone when it comes back to this house", leading rebel Dominic Grieve told lawmakers.

Earlier in the day Mr Freeman had offered support to Phillip Lee who had resigned as a justice minister in order to oppose the government on Brexit.

"In all conscience, 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".

Fellow Tory Remainers Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke were not convinced by ministers' concession and voted against the government by backing the Lords amendment on a "meaningful vote".

Some MPs wanted a meaningful vote to give Parliament a real say - and vote - over the final Brexit deal negotiated by the United Kingdom and the European Union, rather than just accepting whatever is presented by the Government.


The issue seen as most likely to provoke a rebellion was that of giving MPs a "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal.

The major last-minute concession by ministers means the government avoids defeat by 324 to 298.

Brexit Secretary David Davis, who reportedly has clashed with May, has warned Conservative Party rebels that proposals to give Parliament the power to direct negotiations with the European Union are simply a tactic to overturn the results of the 2016 referendum that mandated Britain's departure from the bloc.

A spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: "On the meaningful vote we have agreed to look for a compromise when this goes back to the Lords". Sources have said the government is happy to implement the first two points and will discuss the last one. "That's what this House voted on Article 50".

Labour said May had been forced to avoid a "humiliating defeat" and "to enter negotiations with her backbenchers".

Details of the government's commitment will have to be formalised next week in a new amendment to the bill.

Only 15 minutes was set aside for debating changes to devolved powers proposed by the Lords in the EU Withdrawal bill.

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