Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

MPs reject House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendments

MPs reject House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendments

He blamed Labour for the lack of debating time, saying there would have been "much, much more time" if Jeremy Corbyn's party had not pushed for so many votes to be held.

The battle over customs is far from over. "I'll vote for the EEA amendment because we need to keep our options open", he told lawmakers.

Pro-Brexit members of the government want to be able to play the "no deal" card, but the House of Commons, where pro-EU voices are stronger, would nearly certainly reject the idea.

Prime Minister Theresa May defeated the final challenges to her Brexit blueprint in parliament on Wednesday, leaving plans for Britain's departure from the European Union still largely on track but her authority weakened.

"We are walking on a tightrope at the moment, we campaigned for remain but many of our MPs, including myself, now represent seats which voted heavily leave", John McDonnell, the party's economy spokesman and Corbyn's right-hand man said at an event in London on Wednesday.

But it was in the Labour Party where the deepest rifts were exposed.

Ministers saw off a move to give MPs the decisive say on what happens over Brexit if they do not agree with the deal negotiated by the United Kingdom government.

Facing the prospect of losing a vote on a crucial amendment to the government's flagship Brexit legislation - which was created to empower parliament to vote down the final deal without risking a "no-deal" exit from the bloc - ministers intervened with a concession at the 11th hour even as MPs were wrapping up debate on the controversial measure. The EU will not formally ratify the transition deal without reaching an agreement on the details of the backstop plan.

It was the second win for May after she persuaded rebels in her Conservative party to reject the Lords amendment.

"MPs are now voting to remove another exit day amendment".

Pro-EU Conservative MPs, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan.

Asked by an opposition deputy if it would be possible for the European Union to extend the March 31, 2019 deadline for Britain to leave, Varadkar said it would be possible with the unanimous agreement of the remaining 27 EU members.

After days of division and bitter rows between Brexiteers and Remainers in the Tory ranks, Theresa May was able to see off another amendment that would have tied Britain to the customs union post-Brexit by 325 votes to 298, majority 27.

Mike Russell, the Scottish Government's Brexit minister, branded the UK Government a "travesty and a disgrace", asking "How can any meaningful negotiation take place after that?"

Mrs May was responding to a question from Conservative arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, who said it was vital that any amendment preserved the separation between the roles of Government and Parliament.

In a few weeks, MPs will vote on another piece of Brexit-related legislation called the trade bill. The prime minister still has time to come up with a form of words acceptable to both sides, but the expectations of the anti-Brexit rebels have been raised significantly.

Senior Remainer Dominic Grieve said Mrs May promised to table amendments in the House of Lords which will address their concerns.

The EEA mirrors the single market, meaning Britain would have to abide by the free movement of people and other rules - an outcome pro-Brexit MPs argues defies the will of the people.

MPs have won a concession from the Government over the future of the Irish border, ensuring there will be no physical "checks and controls" after Brexit.

Like this: