Theresa May suffers first defeat in Commons - in key Brexit bill vote

Mr Varadkar was speaking in Brussels ahead of the EU Summit

It was previously planned that Parliament - which already voted to give the public a direct say on Britain's membership of the European Union, as well as to allow the Government to activate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin the Brexit process - would be faced with a "Deal or No Deal" decision on the terms negotiated between the United Kingdom and the EU.

May lost by a close margin of 309-305 votes.

The German MEP suggested that the latest twist in the Brexit negotiations showed that, unlike for previous generations, when Ireland was dictated to by the United Kingdom, the Republic "is much more stronger because it belongs to the European Union".

The amendment, proposed by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, prevents the government from implementing any withdrawal deal with the European Union without the backing of MPs through a new Act of parliament.

Mr Grieve told Sky News that the Government was not listening to the concerns he had raised and had turned the issue into a "battle of wills" in a "completely pointless" way.

Mr Grieve said that, as Wednesday's debate approached, all rational argument began to evaporate as he and other faced accusations of betrayal from Eurosceptics who had voted against their party dozens of times.

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"I don't want to do that, but the Government needs to listen to what's being said to them. Friends saying slightly startling things", he said.

Theresa May has insisted she is "on course to deliver Brexit" as she tried to shrug off a Commons defeat on key legislation.

Mr Grieve rejected the minister's attempt to buy off the rebels, saying it had come too late.

Mr Grieve wants it written into the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that the Government can only implement elements of the withdrawal agreement once a statute allowing them to do so has been passed - a measure which appears to go beyond the promised vote on a resolution of both Houses.

"I'm sorry, but you can not treat the House in this fashion", he said.

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