EU withdrawal bill compromise deal divides East Lancashire's MPs

Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn faces revolt as five Labour MPs resign | Daily Star

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of PMQs at parliament in London, Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

The Prime Minister defeated a demand for binding parliamentary approval on any final withdrawal deal she House of Lords amendment created to force the change by 324 votes to 298.

On the first day of votes that could further complicate her tortured negotiations to quit the European Union, parliament will debate a demand for a "meaningful vote" on any agreement May negotiates with Brussels before leaving the bloc next March.

Hours before the debate started, a justice minister who has always been critical of the handling of Brexit, resigned in protest at what he called the government's "wish to limit" the role of lawmakers in shaping Brexit and said he would vote against the prime minister.

The votes tonight followed a dramatic day of politics in Westminster on Tuesday, when Prime Minister May agreed in principle to give MPs greater power in the Brexit process in order to avoid a humiliating defeat.

"We must think about the message parliament will send to the European Union this week", she said to the 1922 Committee, according to her office.

The government fears a weakened negotiating position.

The government is most vulnerable on the issue of a "meaningful vote".

But pro-EU Tories are warning that they remain ready to rebel if their demands are not satisfied by the compromise amendment, expected to be tabled on Thursday ahead of the bill's return to the Lords on Monday.

"A meaningful vote is not the ability to reverse the decision of the referendum", Brexit Secretary David Davis told BBC radio.

Theresa May's Janus-faced promise on a "meaningful vote" may have averted a defeat.

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May, who lost her party's majority at an ill-judged election a year ago, made a last-ditch appeal to lawmakers on Monday and Davis sent a letter making the same case - vote against the government and risk tying Britain's hands in the Brexit talks. Within that period, the government would have to make a statement on its plans.

Remainer Stephen Hammond said a group of potential rebels - believed to number 15 to 20 - received assurances from the PM moments before the key vote.

Mr Grieve withdrew his own amendment, which would have given MPs powers to dictate what the Government should do if no acceptable agreement is reached by February 2019.

No government would survive if it tried to dispense with Parliament's input, he said.

A total of 89 Labour MPs defied Corbyn in the vote on this amendment, making it the party's biggest Brexit rebellion yet.

The victory - by 324 votes to 298 - only came after public haggling between ministers and would-be rebels and a meeting between Mrs May and more than a dozen Tory MPs.

May had faced the prospect of losing the vote on the customs union after rebels had indicated their support for a change introduced by the House of Lords to require ministers to report what efforts they had made to secure a customs union.

It has also intensified pressure on a prime minister who lost her party's parliamentary majority at an ill-judged election previous year and tested her already weakened authority.

But it was a vote in parliament on Tuesday that left her seemingly at the mercy of two groups in the Conservative Party - those who want to maintain the closest possible ties with the European Union, and others pressing for a clean break.

"What was agreed was the prime minister understood that parliament wants to have a real say, in all circumstances, in relation to what's going to happen in the Brexit deal".

"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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