UK PM defeats rebels over plans to remain in EU customs union

UK PM defeats rebels over plans to remain in EU customs union”

If the amendment had passed it would have thrown May's Brexit strategy into disarray and increased pressure on the already beleaguered leader.

The vote also demonstrated the vital importance of the four or five Labour Brexiteers who have repeatedly defied their own party whip and voted with the government.

The backlash has seen the prime minister face persistent rumours Tory MPs are planning to topple her.

"Labour members and voters in Vauxhall deserve better than someone who will prop up the party of austerity, just so that she can help take this country off a cliff edge".

She must now try to ensure that the United Kingdom continues to participate in the regulatory network operated by the European Medicines Agency.

Tuesday was also the second day running May faced revolt from backbench Tory lawmakers, after they failed on Monday by three votes to enact changes to a crucial post-Brexit customs bill.

Their significance was highlighted in a surprise defeat for the government on only their second piece of Brexit legislation, with MPs voting 305 to 301 on a rebel amendment that would lead to the United Kingdom remaining under European Union medicines regulation.

Despite ultimately surviving the Remainer rebellion on the customs union amendment, ministers had earlier been defeated on the Trade Bill when MPs successfully put a legal obligation on the government to negotiate continued participation in the European medicines regulatory network.

May has vowed to stick to her plan to negotiate the closest possible trade ties with the European Union, saying her strategy is the only one that can meet the government's aims for Brexit, the biggest shift in Britain's foreign and trade policy for decades.

Since the Chequers agreement, May had lost ten government members, including from the cabinet Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign minister Boris Johnson.

Pro-EU Labour MP Chuka Umunna hit out at Labour Brexiteers who opposed the customs union amendment, saying: "It's very disappointing and our communities will question why Labour MPs are jeopardising jobs".

A Vote Leave campaign poster on a window ledge at the Vote Leave offices in London, Britain, 07 April 2016.

"I started the week intending to support the prime minister".

Theresa May and Business Secretary, Greg Clark (right), arrive at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire. However, the move to appease the Eurosceptic-wing of the party has, in turn, enraged remainers, with Guto Bebb stepping down as a defense minister in order to vote against the amendments tonight.

Describing the government's approach as "a total and complete mess", Tony Blair told AFP the only way out was to hold another referendum on the issue.

Tuesday's vote will be on the trade bill, which is focused on converting trade deals between the European Union and third countries into bilateral deals with Britain.

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