Pro-EU lawmaker in Britain's Conservative party: 'We could collapse government'

Pro-EU lawmaker in Britain's Conservative party: 'We could collapse government'

Pro-EU lawmaker in Britain's Conservative party: 'We could collapse government'

Mr Grieve's amendment would have given Parliament the power to dictate the next steps if the Government failed to achieve a Brexit deal by February 2019.

May avoided nearly certain defeat in the Commons on Tuesday by assuring rebels that their concerns about having a "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal would be addressed.

If MPs reject the agreement reached by May with Brussels - or if no deal has been obtained by January 21 - Parliament will be offered the opportunity only to vote on a "neutral motion" stating that it has considered a minister's statement on the issue.

Asked if the prime minister's words ruled out a discussion on the contentious rebel clause, her spokesman said: "I think that is a fair assessment".

"I get frustrated that we are still wasting time quibbling over process issues from people who have never respected the result of the referendum".

However, May's decision to refuse to offer MPs a veto means the future of her Brexit legislation and her authority as prime minister are now once again back in doubt.

Mr Grieve had originally wanted the amendment to say that the government must seek the approval of Parliament for its course of action - and that ministers must be directed by MPs and peers in the House of Lords.

Mr Grieve said that he and fellow Remainers were "not going to rush" their response.

It followed a strained parliamentary session, where the deep nationwide divisions opened up by Britain's vote to leave the European Union in 2016 were on display, with pro-EU lawmakers saying they had received death threats.




After the House of Lords changed the bill to give Parliament a more decisive say, MPs voted on Tuesday to reverse the move - but several pro-EU Tories say they held back from voting against the government because of promises they were made that their concerns would be listened to.

"Grateful for the conversations but without consultation what was agreed earlier today has been changed".

"The Government's amendment is simply not good enough", the Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said.

"The Government's position has not moved since last year's white paper, and even Labour's manifesto was quite clear that free movement of people is not consistent with Brexit, and that we must have the freedom to conclude global trade deals".

In a tense atmosphere where it was not clear which way the vote would go, the government secured its victory only after offering concessions to one of the leaders of a group of Conservative lawmakers who were threatening to vote against May. "Parliament can not - and should not - accept it".

The row centres on what happens if Parliament rejects the initial exit deal May and her team negotiate with Brussels.

Brexit minister David Davis had earlier warned lawmakers that the government would never allow them to "reverse Brexit" or undermine negotiations.

It was not put to a vote on Tuesday, though, after Theresa May met potential rebels to assure them of concessions.

Davis and May have argued that they can not accept anything which gives Parliament the power to bind their hands in negotiations with the European Union, or opens the door to lawmakers overturning the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

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