May offers pro-EU rebels Brexit compromise

The former attorney general said it was important for MPs to have a real say on a Brexit deal.

The disagreement centers on whether the government agreed to consider a specific clause of the rebel proposal that would hand parliament control of the Brexit process if ministers are unable to strike an exit deal by February 15, 2019.

Mr Grieve said he thought they had secured an agreement with the Government last week on an amendment to the bill, only for backtracking to leave it "valueless". "It is not in accordance with the normal procedures of the House of Commons and it totally negates the point of the amendment, which was to give MPs a say".

Despite the "vitriol" directed towards the rebels, "there is not a single MP who does not agree that getting the [withdrawal] bill on the statute book is essential for us all".

Lawmakers supported the government's position to reject amendments to the EU withdrawal bill that challenged May's commitment to leave the bloc's customs union and single market, leaving the overall shape of her Brexit strategy intact.

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.

He said: "I think it is unacceptable because it seems to me to be contrary to what the whole intention was behind this whole amendment".

Grieve and a cohort of potential Conservative rebels with enough votes to defeat the government want Parliament to have more influence over the next steps than ministers are prepared to give them.

The move was branded "sneaky" by one backbencher while another senior pro-EU Tory said the wording of a Government amendment was changed at the last minute to deny MPs the chance of blocking a "no deal" Brexit.


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

Signalling rebels will seek to remove the unamendable nature of the government's proposal, she tweeted: "Would be amusing if only it wasn't such a serious issue, preventing the most destructive Brexit matters to the majority in parliament".

Several pro-EU MPs threatened to rebel over whether parliament should have more control over any final deal agreed with the EU in Brussels.

"This meaningful vote must be comprehensive and offer the possibility of MPs putting the deal to the people".

Before the vote on the Labour amendment, which the party lost by 322 to 240, lawmaker Laura Smith resigned from her junior role in the team "shadowing" the cabinet office and four others left their roles as parliamentary private secretaries.

"But it's also important that Parliament can not and should not overturn the will of the British people, which was to leave the European Union".

"The Prime Minister had a choice to make, she was given a range of options, she has delivered on the promise that she made". They can not be trusted with Brexit.

Ministers fear final Brexit deal might not be signed until DecemberWill more ministers resign over Brexit?

But the latest manoeuvre by a minority government that has been forced to compromise with parliament anxious some lawmakers who feared it would hand the European Union an incentive to withhold any agreement on an exit deal to force a "softer" Brexit.


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