British PM May's Brexit plans set for defeat, teeing up Wednesday showdown

19 June, 2018, 04:43 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • UK PM May's Brexit compromise hits snag wrangling to continue

Theresa May told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show that 'Parliament can not tie the hands of government in negotiations'.

The government has promised lawmakers a vote on the final deal, but the issue at stake is what happens if they reject it. Pro-Europeans want to ensure there is some way of holding the government to account in what would be a crisis situation.

"And part of that has got to be where, if (EU negotiator) Michel Barnier tries to give us a very bad deal, that she can turn around and say "no, I'd rather not do that".

May's Conservative Party does not have a majority in the Lords, and was expected to lose after compromise talks with rebel MPs broke down last week.

TORY rebels could cause the government to collapse in a future vote on a "catastrophic" Brexit, ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve has said.

That would tee up a showdown in parliament's directly elected chamber on Wednesday which will be crucial for May's attempts to resist a move seen as a step towards a softer Brexit, meaning closer ties to the European Union on issues likes customs and regulation.

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Leading pro-EU Conservative Dominic Grieve told the Press Association: "It is unacceptable in my view". And I assure you I wake up at 2am in a cold sweat thinking about the problems that we have put on our shoulders. "The difficulty is that the Brexit process is inherently risky".

"But we need to make sure that parliament can't tie the government's hands in negotiation and can't overturn the will of the British people".

An added risk for the rebels is that if May does fall, it could open the door for an arch-Brexiteer to take over.

Notwithstanding her battles with backbenchers, May has rejected claims that divisions within her cabinet on the way forward were making negotiations with Brussels harder.

"We will be free to negotiate those trade deals around the rest of the world".

Mr Buckland stressed that while Tory rebels argued the vote they wanted would only be advisory, he stressed that even this vote could have a political effect and send a signal to Brussels that the UK Government was not in control of its own negotiating strategy. Despite the stuttering progress in the talks with Brussels, both sides still hope to reach a deal in October.

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In what threatens to be a bloody round of "parliamentary ping-pong", amendments backed by the Lords will bounce back to the Commons on Wednesday.

The amendment drawn by the United Kingdom government speaks of merely an advisory rather than a meaningful vote.

"Theresa May's plans are nothing if not breathtaking in their arrogance and deceit", said Dick Newby, their leader in the Lords.

Peers are now to debate the Government proposals on Monday, along with a rival amendment tabled by Lord Hailsham, which revives Mr Grieve's proposal for MPs to be enabled to direct the Government on what to do if no Brexit deal has been secured by February.

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

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill would formally end Britain's membership of the bloc and transfer more than 40 years of European law on to the British statute books.

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