Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

May survives fresh Brexit vote but rebels up the pressure

May survives fresh Brexit vote but rebels up the pressure

"We must be clear that we are united as a party in our determination to deliver on the decision made by the British people".

The debate began on Tuesday, and will resume at around 1200 GMT Wednesday.

The anti-Brexit members of the government held a series of talks with the group as it attempts to push them and MPs to oppose Prime Minister Theresa May and her stated aim for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU), The Telegraph reports. After losing her party's majority in parliament at an ill-judged election previous year, she now relies on the support of a small Northern Irish party and the distance between victory and defeat is narrow. Her party is split between Brexiteers who want a clean break from the European Union and a pro-European faction who want to retain close ties.

It's an amendment that calls for the government to "take all necessary steps to implement an worldwide trade agreement which enables the U.K.to participate after exit day in a customs union with the EU in the same terms as existed before exit day".

Some backbench MPs want powers to send Mrs May back to Brussels if they do not agree with her final Brexit deal, or if one has not been reached closer to exit day. Ministers originally wanted to make this a vote to either accept the deal or to leave without a deal.

This was not enough to convince the rebels.

"I am incredibly sad to have had to announce my resignation as a minister in Her Majesty's government so that I can better speak up for my constituents and country over how Brexit is now being delivered", Lee said on Twitter.

Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said that the only reason May's government had decided on a climb down was because 'they thought they were going to lose the vote'.

Compared to the government's proposal, this is a shorter time to respond, and gives parliament a vote to approve the response. That clause - drafted by Grieve - basically hands a lot of power to Parliament if no deal has been agreed by the end of November. This plan of action must then be approved by parliament in a vote.

"When the Government is able to set out an achievable, clearly defined path, one that has been properly considered, whose implications have been foreseen, and that is rooted in reality and evidence, not dreams and dogma, it should go to the people, once again, to seek their confirmation", he wrote.

A paper laying out the U.K. government position on future relations, due to be published this month, has been delayed until July because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance.

Three members of the ruling Conservatives rebelled and voted against the government and in favour of EEA membership.

May has promised to give the British parliament a vote on the final deal, but the question is what happens if lawmakers decide to reject it.

It followed a strained parliamentary session, where the deep divisions opened up by Britain's vote to leave the European Union in 2016 were on display, with lawmakers who oppose the government saying they had received death threats or been called traitors. Such an outcome, though far from certain, would cast the Brexit process into disarray.

"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.

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