Remainers warn of future rebellion risk despite PM's Brexit concessions move

Cheryl Sanders
June 15, 2018

In parliament, May told lawmakers she had agreed with Brexit minister David Davis to "bring forward an amendment in the (House of) Lords".

MPs voted by 324 to 298 to reject a House of Lords amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have given MPs the power to tell the Prime Minister to go back and renegotiate the Brexit deal. The strained parliament session underlined deep divisions over Britain's European Union exit.

She said: "I can not countenance Parliament being able to overturn the will of the British people: Parliament gave the decision to the British people, the British people voted to leave the European Union and as Prime Minister I'm determined to deliver that". He said he would vote against the prime minister.

Pro-Europeans in British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party warned yesterday she must keep promises to give Parliament a greater say over the final Brexit deal or risk a truce she needs to avoid a damaging defeat.

Some lawmakers tried to shout him down and accused the government of wanting too much power. First, the text needs to honour her pledge to pro-EU Tories that she'll take account of their concerns about the possibility of leaving the bloc without a deal and give Parliament more say over the process.

The vote was one of the most important in two days of votes that began Tuesday on the government's EU Withdrawal Bill.


"Now it's Labour's turn to show its dysfunction", said one Labour lawmaker.

Britons voted 52 percent to 48 percent in favour of leaving the European Union in a June 2016 referendum. Labour MP Susan Elan Jones acted as a teller for the pro-EEA vote, to also contravene her party's whip.

Theresa May is facing the biggest parliamentary bust-up yet on her flagship Brexit legislation after a compromise created to keep critics in her own party on board was denounced as "unacceptable" by Tory Remainers.

As of last night, at least some Tory rebels were still willing to rebel on the meaningful vote, but at the moment it looks unlikely that they will be enough to outweigh Labour rebels going the other way.

"We are asking members of parliament to abide by the referendum result, our manifesto commitment and to back our country", Andrew Bridgen, Conservative lawmaker and Brexit campaigner, told Reuters.

In a series of tweets Ms Smith, the MP for Crewe and Nantwich which voted to leave the European Union, said she was "tired of being told that I am "blocking Brexit" by criticising the government's approach to negotiations".


The legislation will be debated on Monday by the upper House of Lords and if no compromise is agreed, May could face a damaging defeat when it returns to the lower house on Wednesday.

Some MPs believe this will force May to effectively stay within the single market and customs union after Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May defeated the final challenges to her EU Withdrawal Bill in parliament on Wednesday (13 June) after 48 hours of drama in Westminster.

Mrs May has made an art of holding together the factions in her divided party, but it remains to be seen if she can find an amendment that prevents a rebellion from either side.

But senior Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat said the issue of the "meaningful vote" was secondary as the Government would fall if it could not secure parliamentary approval for its Brexit deal.

Remain-supporting Dr Lee said: "If Brexit is worth doing, then it is certainly worth doing well" and it is "irresponsible to proceed as we are".


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