Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Sterling rises as PM May wins parliament vote on Brexit

Sterling rises as PM May wins parliament vote on Brexit

Lawmakers voted 324-298 against the amendment after Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to concessions with 14 rebel Tory MPs.

The government was putting a combative spin on the concessions Tuesday evening: "The Brexit Secretary has set out three tests that any new amendment has to meet - not undermining the negotiations, not changing the constitutional role of Parliament and Government in negotiating global treaties, and respecting the referendum result", a spokesperson for the Brexit department said in a statement.

It's been revealed ex-Tory ministers Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry rebelled against the government by voting against the motion to disagree with Lords amendment, created to give Parliament a vote to prevent a "no deal" Brexit.

"And the thought of no deal absolutely terrifies us".

May's divided cabinet has yet to settle on what sort of customs deal Britain should have with the European Union - an issue of crucial importance to businesses with cross-border supply chains, and the land border between European Union member state Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

Some MPs wanted a meaningful vote to give Parliament a real say - and vote - over the final Brexit deal negotiated by the United Kingdom and the European Union, rather than just accepting whatever is presented by the Government.

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. This might convince some wavering "rebels" to back the government in order to save May and prevent Boris Johnson, the current foreign secretary and a leading so-called "Brexiteer", from seeking to replace her.

Commenting after Tuesday's votes, Dr Lee said: "Delighted that the government has agreed to introduce an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which will give Parliament the voice I always wanted it to have in the Brexit process".

In a day of drama, May's position seemed suddenly weaker when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of the government's Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.


Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme what would happen under Government plans if MPs voted against the deal eventually secured by Mrs May, Mr Davis said: "If they throw it out, well, they throw it out". Philip Lee said a choice between "bad and worse" options was not giving MPs a meaningful vote.

The bill will then go back to the Lords on Monday.

A Downing Street source said: "We will get a good Brexit deal that works for everybody in the UK".

Earlier, May appeared to have also stemmed a rebellion on Wednesday over her commitment to leaving the EU's customs union which will transform Britain's trading relationships for decades to come.

"Anything that undermines the government at home will make negotiations with the European Union more hard", May told a meeting of her cabinet. They stood down after the government promised to engage in talks on a compromise.

Nick said: "You were told what to do, why won't you do it?" Yes, it's a significant compromise but we live to fight another day.

Few at Westminster expect a challenge to the prime minister's position this week. We just want to make sure the economy is protected.

Labour's Brexit policy chief, Keir Starmer, said May had been forced to avoid a "humiliating defeat" and "to enter negotiations with her backbenchers".

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