Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

PM May's Brexit plans set for defeat, teeing up Wednesday showdown

PM May's Brexit plans set for defeat, teeing up Wednesday showdown

There are a portion of pro-EU MPs in the Conservative Party who are against their proposed legislation and recent attempts at compromising with them have collapsed according to reports.

Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who has led talks with ministers on behalf of the rebels over the wording of a key change to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, said he thought he had reached an agreement on Thursday lunchtime only for the government to change the text "at the last minute".

Mr Grieve said the potential consequences of the stand-off with the Prime Minister over a demand to allow MPs to dictate the terms of Brexit negotiations if a deal with Brussels is rejected made him "wake up at 2am in a cold sweat".

May used an interview on the BBC's "Andrew Marr Show" to align herself with the most famous pledge of the pro-Brexit campaign: using money that will no longer be spent on European Union membership to inject billions of pounds into the state-run National Health Service.

On Monday, peers will vote on a number of "compromise" amendments tabled by ministers in response to 15 defeats inflicted on them in the House of Lords.

The chances of the government being defeated when the Bill returns to the House of Commons later this month has now risen significantly, with trust between May and her MPs at an all-time low.

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The government says the whole row is about a "hypothetical" scenario and it expects to come back with a good deal in the autumn that Parliament will support.

Ministers have so far agreed to give parliament a symbolic vote on the government's strategy if its initial exit deal is rejected, but not to give lawmakers the power to force changes to its plan.

"As a result, a leadership challenge to Theresa May has also become more likely, because hardline Brexiteers fear they are being outmaneuvered by the prime minister who tiptoes towards a package acceptable to the soft Brexit majority in Parliament".

"The Government's position has not moved since last year's white paper, and even Labour's manifesto was quite clear that free movement of people is not consistent with Brexit, and that we must have the freedom to conclude global trade deals".

Speaking on BBC One's Question Time, Dominic Grieve MP, said the government's amendment "made the motion unamendable, contrary to the usual methods of the House of Commons".

Pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Anna Soubry tweeted: "Deal or no deal, parliament will have a meaningful vote and to be clear there will be no hard #Brexit when the EUWithdrawal Bill is passed".

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"At the end of the process, something was inexplicably changed, which had not been agreed".

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

Under these circumstances, a minister must make a statement in Parliament within 14 days and give MPs an opportunity to vote.

Mrs May won every vote but the "meaningful vote" issue has put her in a seemingly precarious position. Theresa May has gone back on her word and offered an amendment that takes the meaning out of the meaningful vote.

This gives the European Union very little incentive to negotiate constructively with Britain, knowing that it can stop Brexit by offering a awful deal, safe in the knowledge that MPs will not accept it or the alternative of a "No Deal" exit. "Parliament can not - and should not - accept it".

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