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Brexit law faces crucial Commons vote

Brexit law faces crucial Commons vote

Next up are the July votes on the trade and customs bills where rebels will aim to force the Government to keep the United Kingdom in the customs union.

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

The House of Commons voted 324 to 298 to defeat an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which would have removed her government's power to decide to leave the bloc without any agreement.

Two days of debate on the laws that will end Britain's European Union membership have crystallised long-running divisions within May's party about the best strategy for leaving the European Union, bringing to a head issues that will determine the relationship between the world's fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading bloc.

Crucially, ministers have conceded that if MPs vote down the Withdrawal Agreement with Brussels, that will not result in the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union with no deal - a scenario that few MPs would countenance because of the significant economic damage it would entail.

The Prime Minister met pro-EU Tories in her private room in the Commons moments before the crucial vote to hear their demands for a truly meaningful vote on the final deal.

Grieve's proposal also suggested if no deal was reached by February 15, the government would be required to allow the House of Commons to set the terms of the deal.

Leading pro-EU Conservative Sarah Wollaston announced she would vote with the Government so long as a promised further amendment in the Lords "closely reflects" the Grieve proposals.




The parts of his amendment which he expects to be taken forward by ministers provide a mechanism by which Parliament has to be consulted by the end of November in the event of no deal or if a proposed agreement is rejected, he said.

The statement said: "We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the government's hands in the negotiations". Anti-Brexit MPs had argued that removing the no-deal outcome was necessary for the vote to be a meaningful one. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, was reportedly close to resigning over the issue last weekend.

"We had a personal assurance that we would find a way of addressing the concerns which are encapsulated in these amendments", Mr Grieve said as voting continued on Tuesday. The bill then returns to the House of Commons again later next week.

The Government made a series of late concessions to backbench MPs who were minded to rebel behind closed doors, meaning the true nature of what has been agreed is not yet clear.

On Wednesday, parliament will consider a challenge to May's commitment to leave the EU's single market and customs union, which will transform Britain's future trading relationships for many years to come. They stood down after the government promised to engage in talks on a compromise.

One Tory Leaver said: "We need to know more about what exactly the prime minister has told the rebels". Yes, it's a significant compromise but we live to fight another day. He said he would vote against the prime minister.

Keir Starmer, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, was refusing to accept the government at its word Tuesday.

The British government was rocked by a resignation and faced anger in Parliament over its Brexit plans, but staved off defeat by offering concessions to MPs who want to soften the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union.

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