Shadow minister Laura Smith and five other Labour frontbenchers have quit

Evarado Alatorre
Junio 14, 2018

Brexit Secretary David Davis, who reportedly has clashed with May, has warned Conservative Party rebels that proposals to give Parliament the power to direct negotiations with the European Union are simply a tactic to overturn the results of the 2016 referendum that mandated Britain's departure from the bloc. This affords Conservative pro-'Remain' MPs another opportunity to defeat the government if their discussions with ministers do not yield the tangible concessions they seek.

Moments later, MPs voted by 324 to 298 to reject a House of Lords amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have given Parliament the power to tell the PM to go back and renegotiate the Brexit deal she secures from Brussels.

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

Ministers had said it would be published before the June EU summit, suggesting rows had helped delay the paper.

The concession was prompted by an amendment from Dominic Grieve which demanded MPs had a bigger say on the final withdrawal agreement.

But the Prime Minister is likely to face the risk of further rebellions further down the line.

Mr Grieve said no government would survive if it tried to dispense with Parliament's input.

Overall the amendment was defeated by 327 votes to 126, a majority of 201.

There was little doubt the government would win on the customs union and single market, which some pro-EU lawmakers say is the only way for Britain to retain economically advantageous close ties with the bloc, with the opposition Labour Party also divided over future relations.

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Labour's leadership, meanwhile, will be on alert for a potential rebellion after ordering its MPs not to back proposals for a Norway-style agreement with the European Union.

Six Labour MPs resigned from senior roles in the party to defy Jeremy Corbyn on the single market vote, illustrating how it isn't just the Conservatives that are split over the Brexit question.

However, May made a last minute offer to enter talks about accepting the bulk of an alternative rebel amendment which would give MPs more limited powers to prevent Britain from crashing out of the European Union without a deal. The bill then returns to the House of Commons again later next week. He said he would vote against the prime minister.

In a highly charged atmosphere in parliament, lawmakers who oppose the government said they had received death threats and brandished a copy of one of Britain's tabloid newspapers, the Daily Express, which ran a headline saying: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril". Those votes also show that Parliament is aware of the government's weakness and wishes to take control of the negotiations with the European Union and possibly take a softer line on Brexit than the one May's government is now pursuing.

A recent YouGov poll found that three quarters (75%) of those who expressed a view said they'd be concerned to be left with fewer rights after Brexit.

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".

The upshot of the shift may well be as dramatic as the parliamentary procedure is incomprehensible.

This is despite his constituency voting almost 80% to remain in the June 2017 referendum.

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