DUP to back Theresa May over Brexit amendments

13 June, 2018, 11:20 | Author: Wade Massey

"Our policy is to leave the customs union so we can conduct our own independent trade policy, but it would be appropriate to have an arrangement in place", Baker told reporters. It also increases the prospect of MPs forcing a referendum on the terms of the eventual deal or even of a snap election before the end of the year.

In a day of drama, May's position seemed suddenly weaker when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.

Details of precisely what this will involve could emerge in the coming days when the EU Withdrawal bill is due to return to the House of Lords.

She has previously spoken of the threats she faced for challenging the government, and revealed that one colleague would not be voting as they wished this week for fear of reprisals.

Dismissing claims that Mrs May had effectively abandoned her threat that the United Kingdom could leave the European Union without a deal, Mr Jenkin said: "There is only agreement for discussions, not concessions".

If the government fails to pass the bill as it is, it will be forced to change what it asks for in negotiations with the European Union -undermining May's position and possibly threatening her job as Prime Minister.

The upshot of the shift may well be as dramatic as the parliamentary procedure is incomprehensible.

When the government realised it could be defeated solicitor general Robert Buckland confirmed to a packed chamber there was "much merit" in Grieve's amendment adding "the government is willing to engage positively".

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The bill will then go back to the Lords on Monday. That clause - drafted by Grieve - basically hands a lot of power to Parliament if no deal has been agreed by the end of November.

Lee, who voted for Britain to remain in the E.U.in the 2016 referendum, said in a statement he was "incredibly sad" to resign but did so in order to vote against the government's position on a key amendment to the bill. "How can Boris [Johnson, the foreign secretary] and the ERG [the European Research Group of Euroskeptic MPs] live with this?" Pro-Brexit members of the government want to be able to play the "no deal" card, but the House of Commons, where pro-EU voices are stronger, would nearly certainly reject the idea.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: "As has become a tradition in Brexit negotiations, the Tories have been forced to cobble together a compromise".

But government officials admitted that the concession does constrain their freedom in the Brexit talks.

"Where some of its most senior people who hold the greatest offices of state, at every twist and turn, when our Prime Minister moves towards securing a Brexit that will serve everybody in our country, the softest, most sensible Brexit, both publicly and privately they undermine her and scupper her attempts". Wollaston tweeted: "Following further assurances that further govt amendments will come forward in the Lords, I will now be supporting the govt". Yes, it's a significant compromise but we live to fight another day.

Fellow MP Antoinette Sandbach rejected suggestions by leading Brexiteers in her party that this would tie the prime minister's hands in negotiations.

British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly avoided a major blow to her Brexit strategy Tuesday after MPs rejected a plan that would have given parliament a veto on the final deal negotiated with Brussels.

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