Don’t tie our hands in Brexit negotiations, British government tells parliament

Lester Mason
June 13, 2018

The amendment would effectively give MPs the power to prevent the United Kingdom from opting to crash out of the European Union without a Brexit deal and is a major victory for Remain-supporting MPs in parliament.

Either way, the chances are increasing that Parliament will get a greater say over Brexit.

Nick said: "You were told what to do, why won't you do it?"

Former Tory cabinet minister Dominic Grieve, who tried to broker a compromise between MPs and ministers, has warned a no-deal scenario could lead to a "national crisis". "It enables parliament to dictate to the government their course of action in global negotiations".

The premier now has until Friday to draft a legally watertight amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which will be acceptable to both sides.

Parliament will vote Tuesday on a key piece of legislation, the E.U. Withdrawal bill, that would transfer European Union laws now on British books into British law after Brexit.

Dr. Sarah Wollaston, chair of the heath select committee, switched to back the Government after saying she was "minded" to rebel over voting against the Lord's amendment.

It also attacked the unelected nature of the House of Lords (which traditionally scrutinizes laws passed to it by the elected lower chamber), linking it to a perceived attempt to frustrate the Brexit process.

So just hours after the concession, (or non-concession) very, very dark mutterings began from those who had been persuaded by what they thought was a promise.


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.

Opening the debate, Brexit Secretary David Davis insisted the government would abide by three principles to defend the will of the British people.

Her fellow Conservative backbencher Stephen Hammond said: "Parliament must be able to have its say in a "no deal" situation. There could be a confidence motion [in the prime minister] or an early general election".

Meanwhile, Tory Brexiteer Bernard Jenkin told the government he would not accept ministers agreeing to Mr Grieve's demand for the House of Commons to assume control of Brexit negotiations in the event of no deal.

Potential rebels fell into line after Solicitor General Robert Buckland said ministers were ready to "engage positively" with their concerns before the Bill returns to the Upper House next Monday.

May urged Conservative lawmakers to back the government and show "that we are united as a party in our determination to deliver on the decision made by the British people".

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, Mr Bridgen accused Tory Remainers supportive of Dominic Grieve's amendment to the Brexit bill of deliberatively attempting to stop the United Kingdom leaving the European Union completely.

Prior to the votes, the government suffered its first ministerial resignation over Brexit as Phillip Lee quit the Ministry of Justice so he could speak out freely.

Dismissing the Government's compromise, she tweeted: "Merely issuing a statement in response would make it a meaningless final vote".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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