MPs reject House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendments

  • MPs reject House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendments

MPs reject House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendments

The meaningful vote is probably the most unsafe of the Lords amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill - because it tees up an unpredictable vote on the final terms of Brexit, towards the end of this year, and opens up the possibility that MPs could demand that ministers change policy, in the event the terms were rejected by the House, or no deal was reached in the talks with the EU.... they could even demand (drumroll) a second referendum...

But it came at a cost - a government promise to strengthen Parliament's voice, potentially at the expense of its own power to set the terms of any final divorce deal with the EU.

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.

Brexit backers see this clause as weakening the government's negotiating position, as they want May to be able to threaten to walk away.

Mr Grieve said no government would survive if it tried to dispense with Parliament's input.

Theresa May has mocked Labour over its festival plans after Jeremy Corbyn accused her of seeking a Brexit deal to "appease the clashing giant egos" of her Cabinet.

Asked if she would seek a delay to the June European Council while the Government decides its position, Mrs May said it is not a summit about the Brexit talks but will include many issues such as sanctions against Russian Federation.

Phillip Lee, a minister at Britain's justice ministry, said on Tuesday he was resigning over the government's Brexit policies.

"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. By 2pm the only speeches had been from the two main frontbench spokesmen (Brexit minister, David Davis, and Labour's Matthew Pennycook). "A meaningful vote is not the ability to reverse the decision of the referendum".

74 Labour MPs rebelled to vote against disagreeing with the Lords EEA amendment and 15 rebelled to vote with the Government in agreeing to reject the Lords EEA amendment.

In a concession, the government promised that lawmakers would have a say on what to do next if there is no agreement with the European Union, or if Parliament rejects the deal offered.

The House of Commons was holding a second day of votes on the European Union Withdrawal Bill, meant to disentangle Britain from the bloc.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the influential European Research Group of MPs, urged Mrs May to reject outright Mr Grieve's further call for MPs to effectively take control of negotiations in the last resort if no deal is agreed by February 2019. This affords Conservative pro-'Remain' MPs another opportunity to defeat the government if their discussions with ministers do not yield the tangible concessions they seek.

So the rebels might sit tight until July, when they will have another opportunity to force May to change direction and keep closer ties to the bloc.

He later tweeted to say that the government's concession on the "meaningful vote" had made his resignation worthwhile.

Umunna, MP for Streatham, said: "Curbing Commonwealth immigration then and ending European Union free movement now did and is not going to solve these problems and we know it".