May's Brexit plans set for Lords defeat, teeing up showdown

18 June, 2018, 15:31 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Theresa May’s frantic search for the perfect Brexit compromise

Mr Grieve said he thought they had secured an agreement with the Government last week on an amendment to the bill, only for backtracking to leave it "valueless".

There are a portion of pro-EU MPs in the Conservative Party who are against their proposed legislation and recent attempts at compromising with them have collapsed according to reports.

Speaking over the weekend, former attorney general and leading rebel Dominic Grieve warned that the government amendment prepared last week was "valueless".

The disagreement centers on whether the government agreed to consider a specific clause of the rebel proposal that would hand parliament control of the Brexit process if ministers are unable to strike an exit deal by February 15, 2019.

May was forced to quell a rebellion on Tuesday after she faced defeat on a vote in parliament over her Brexit blueprint, or EU withdrawal bill, which will sever ties with the European Union.

Dominic Grieve
The UK's plan for Brexit has just suffered another major blow

The bill will now returns to the House of Lords early next week, with both the government amendment and Mr Grieve's original amendment expected to be debated. It will then come back to the Commons once more, when MPs likewise can reject or vote through amendments to the legislation.

Grieve said the problem was that if the United Kingdom reached "the really apocalyptic moment" where no Brexit deal had been done by early February 2019, Parliament was not being offered the chance to say what should happen next - only to "note" the position.

Instead, MPs would be allowed to vote only on a "neutral" motion, confirming that they have considered a statement by a minister on the issue. He added he would listen to the government but "I hope they listen to me when I say I don't understand why you've done this last-minute switch".

Peers are to vote on Monday on a proposal to give MPs the power to dictate the government's response if it fails to reach a deal with Brussels.

Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, who had planned to rebel on Tuesday but was bought off by the Prime Minister, took to Twitter to express her disappointment.

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On one side, the United Kingdom prime minister has the European Union, sharpening its knives to defend the club of 27 remaining members against British "cherry picking" during Brexit talks.

Mr Grieve said he had been involved in talks for two days and: "at the end of the process something was inexplicably changed, which had not been agreed".

He told BBC One's Sunday Politics: 'We could collapse the government'.

"It's also important that Parliament can not and should not overturn the will of the British people, which was to leave the European Union".

The government's prospects of defeat were increased last week when the junior justice minister Philip Lee resigned his post so he could vote against the minister on a meaningful vote.

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"Parliament must be given a meaningful vote on all possible outcomes of Brexit - and this must be guaranteed in writing".

She said that in the week beginning Jul 9 the government would set out in more detail than ever before its ambition for future relations with the EU.

Labour's Brexit policy chief, Keir Starmer, said May had been forced to avoid a "humiliating defeat" and "to enter negotiations with her backbenchers".

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