United Kingdom minister resigns, plans to rebel over parliament's Brexit role

In a battle of wills between the prime minister and the House of Commons on Tuesday, it was Theresa May who emerged weakened having been pushed into a series of significant concessions to anti-Brexit Conservative MPs in order to fend off a damaging parliamentary defeat.

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

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown in parliament with lawmakers later on Tuesday who want a "meaningful vote" on an eventual Brexit deal and to set the government's "direction" if the house rejects the agreement.

"This isn't about narrow party politics", she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman had earlier indicated he was not sure how he would vote on the question of whether parliament should get a final say on the Brexit deal.

When asked if May would lead the conservatives into the next United Kingdom election, Davis also said "I think so. actually I hope so".

In the end MPs voted by 324 to 298 to reject the House of Lords proposal, with only two Tories voting against the government.

The concession on a meaningful vote came after intensive horse-trading on the floor of the House of Commons, with chief whip Julian Smith shuttling between Tory backbenchers during debate on Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

But Solicitor General Robert Buckland publicly implied that Government would be accepting part of Grieve's amendment, and said that a "structured discussion" would take place with rebels.

Brexit 'meaningful vote' rejected as PM strikes deal with Tory rebels
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May returns to Downing Street from the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, June 12, 2018. But government officials admitted that the concession does constrain their freedom in the Brexit talks.


The logic of that argument is that EU negotiator Michel Barnier would prefer the softest of Brexits - a model known as "Norway plus", in which Britain remains in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the customs union, accepting all single market rules, including freedom of movement, and the EU's trade policy without any representation in Brussels.

Party officials have been frantically lobbying lawmakers to try to persuade those who have threatened to vote against the government to stay in line, using arguments ranging from the threat being turfed out by a government led by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to losing any leverage in Brexit talks.

Dismissing claims that Mrs May had effectively abandoned her threat that the United Kingdom could leave the European Union without a deal, Mr Jenkin said: "There is only agreement for discussions, not concessions".

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

Brexit protesters outside Parliament House.

A paper laying out the UK government position, due to be published this month, has been delayed because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance. The Daily Express featured the British flag as its front page with the headline: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

Her mission is clear: to find a way to unite the warring Brexit factions in her party before they derail the government.

Pro-Brexit Conservative MP Edward Leigh slammed pro-EU colleagues, saying Parliament must respect the result of the June 2016 voter referendum. Her party and her top team of ministers also are deeply split over how to leave the European Union, particularly over the future customs arrangements which have pitted those wanting closer ties with the European Union against others who demand a clean break. "They want us to regain control of our borders", he said.

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