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Government wins Brexit bill vote after concessions

Government wins Brexit bill vote after concessions”

Rebels said May had assured them the government would accept two parts of Grieve's amendment; and immediately open talks on a third, "part c", which would allow MPs to direct the government, if no deal is reached by February next year.

This assurance was enough to convince Tory rebels to vote with the government.

"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".

Earlier, the prime minister had been hit by the resignation of justice minister Phillip Lee, who came out in support of a second referendum on the UK's final divorce deal and criticised Mrs May's Brexit policy.

Lee's resignation came as May's fragile minority government scrambled to shore up support among lawmakers before two days of debate and votes in the House of Commons on its flagship Brexit bill.

Theresa May is facing one of the biggest tests of her leadership, with Tory rebels threatening to vote against their own party to force through amendments to the bill.

Brexit supporters will be watching closely to see what concessions the government finally offers to the rebels.

Attention has focused on June 12 on the so-called "meaningful vote" amendment, which would give parliament the power to decide what to do if it rejects the final Brexit deal.

In a major climbdown, they said that ministers would consider key aspects of the controversial amendment by Mr Grieve.

"This justifies my decision to resign and makes it a lot less painful".

But while the well-worn arguments focusing on the nature of a meaningful vote were made, the real drama was taking place on the floor of the chamber where chief whip Julian Smith, solicitor general Robert Buckland and Brexit secretary David Davis as well as the Prime Minister's parliamentary private secretary (PPS) George Holingberry were in deep discussion with each other and Grieve, as they sought to avert an embarrassment for the government.

Well what the Remainer MPs thought they heard from May does not seem compatible with Davis's red lines. "It enables parliament to dictate to the government their course of action in worldwide negotiations".

Britons voted 52 percent to 48 percent in favour of leaving the European Union in a June 2016 referendum.

In his letter, Mr Davis said it was "simply not right" that Parliament could effectively overturn the referendum result.

Meanwhile, Tory Brexiteer Bernard Jenkin told the government he would not accept ministers agreeing to Mr Grieve's demand for the House of Commons to assume control of Brexit negotiations in the event of no deal.

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.

Its Lords were instrumental in bringing about some of the amendments that have been sent back to the Commons.

May objected to the amendment - inserted by the House of Lords - because she said it would tie her hands in the negotiation.

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



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