Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

May wins Brexit clash by offering concessions

May wins Brexit clash by offering concessions

Davis also told parliament the government can not get a good deal with the European Union if its hands are tied in negotiations by a vote that would give MPs the power to force her government to go back to the negotiating table if they reject a Brexit deal.

The fall-out from Tuesday's vote, which the government won to wipe out a change that could have given parliament the power to force ministers back to the negotiating table, looked set to all but overshadow Wednesday's votes.

May's fragile government will be trying to defeat a rebellion by pro-EU lawmakers and reverse changes to its key piece of Brexit legislation as the matter comes before the House of Commons.

"First, we must never do anything that undermines the Government's negotiating position or encourages delays in the negotiations", Mr Davis said.

He later claimed Mr Johnson "inhabited a parallel universe" in which the referendum result is not respected "unless you want friction at the borders and disruption of the economy". "It's not practical, it's not desirable and it's not appropriate", Davis said.

She had already agreed to give MPs a vote on the final Brexit deal, but rejecting it could see Britain crash out of the European Union with no agreement.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: "As has become a tradition in Brexit negotiations, the Tories have been forced to cobble together a compromise".

In a day of drama, May's position seemed suddenly weaker when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of the government's Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.

Pro-EU lawmakers, however, welcomed it as a signal that the government was moving towards ruling out a hardline "no deal" Brexit.

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The change reduces the likelihood that Britain could leave the European Union without a deal if it does not like the divorce terms. Having passed through its commons stages relatively unscathed it saw a series of 15 government defeats in the House of Lords, including an unexpected one on the single market.

These should be interesting discussion indeed as, although she had made concessions, May has also said that she will not allow MPs to tie her hands in the Brexit negotiations.

The government said before the vote it disagreed with the amendment and the Labour frontbench was expected to either vote the same way or abstain.

Another flashpoint could come when lawmakers vote Wednesday on an amendment seeking to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU.

While in the end, only two Tory MPs - Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry - voted against the government, there were clashes over how much of a say Parliament should get as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, with one side accusing the other of trying to "wreck" Brexit - and being accused in turn of being "zealots" who wanted to sideline Parliament.

If Brexit is softened in this way, an influential group of euroskeptics in May's party could challenge her leadership.

Parliamentary debates about complex legal amendments rarely rose much heat, but passions run high over anything to do with Brexit.

It featured a British flag and the headline: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

Conservative lawmakers Anna Soubry, Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve had expressed their support for a greater parliamentary role in scrutinising the government's Brexit bill during debates on Tuesday.

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