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Ministers win key Brexit bill vote after concession

"The government can not demonstrate the flexibility necessary for a successful deal if its hands are tied midway through that process", he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a knife-edge vote in parliament on June 12 on her centrepiece Brexit legislation, despite her last-minute warning that defeat risks undermining her negotiations with Brussels.

But these putative pledges by the PM are inconsistent with Tuesday night's statement by Davis's officials that any new amendment relating to the power of MPs to accept or reject a Brexit deal must not restrict her negotiating freedom - or restrict her ability to sign whatever treaty with the European Union she would like.

The EU's other main objection to the United Kingdom plan is that it doesn't include a commitment to maintaining the same regulatory standards.

Lee said "the people, economy and culture of my constituency will be affected negatively" by Britain's European Union departure, and it is "irresponsible to proceed as we are".

The vote on Tuesday is the first of two days of debate that will test May's authority and her plans for leaving the EU.

In a tense afternoon in parliament, Remain MPs said they had received death threats and brandished a copy of the Daily Express newspaper, which ran a headline saying: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

The frontpages of Leave-backing British newspapers said accepting the amendments would betray the 52% who backed Brexit in the seismic 2016 referendum.

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Commenting after Tuesday's votes, Dr Lee said: "Delighted that the government has agreed to introduce an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which will give Parliament the voice I always wanted it to have in the Brexit process".

'But the message we send to the country through our votes this week is important. A victory for the "meaningful final vote" amendment would leave the government weaker in am upcoming round of talks with European Union negotiators in late June, and also weaken Theresa May's authority as leader.

The motion to reject the Lords amendment, which would have given MPs control over the government's negotiation strategy and the final exit deal, therefore passed by 324 votes to 298 - a majority of 26 votes.

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.

After it was not clear whether that would win over potential rebels, a minister offered Grieve a compromise to discuss parts of his amendment that the government could adopt - a move aimed at warding off a potential rebellion led by the lawmaker.

But Tuesday's victory 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. The government earlier had said it would not support that amendment. The Brexit Department said in a statement that it would look for compromise, but would not agree to lawmakers "binding the government's hands" in negotiations.

"Thirdly, we must under all circumstances respect the result of the referendum".

Theresa May saw off a revolt from the pro-European wing of her fractured party, averting what could have been a major political crisis.



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