Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

After reprieve, Britain's May faces a new Brexit battle in parliament

After reprieve, Britain's May faces a new Brexit battle in parliament

As Theresa May's government continues to reel over its divisive plan to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union, the Prime Minister has rejected the idea of a second vote that would give the British people another say before the country officially hits the exits in March 2019.

The Prime Minister managed to pass amendments to the Customs Bill by just three votes - meaning the United Kingdom would leave the EU's Value-Added Tax regime.

Mrs May bowed to Brexiteer demands earlier to stem a threatened uprising on the Customs Bill.

The cave-in to the Brexiteers was too much for the band of a dozen or so pro-Remain Conservative MPs who last December inflicted a Brexit defeat on the Government and now staged another damaging rebellion.

The Leave-supporting Conservative MP, who was elected after David Cameron stepped down following the Brexit vote, is the latest official to resign over Mrs May's proposals for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

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Tabled by former minister Priti Patel, the amendment ensures that HM Revenue and Customs would not collect European Union countries' tariffs under a customs partnership, without "a reciprocal arrangement" with Brussels.

The prime minister was accused of "caving in" to Eurosceptic demands.

Remainer conservative MPs warned that the Brexit plan amended by hardliners increase the likelihood of a no-deal divorce, and that prospect is becoming more tangible in Brussels as well.

"I suspect the Chequers deal is, in fact, dead", Conservative lawmaker Bernard Jenkin told the BBC.

Pro-EU lawmakers have tabled a change to the wording of the bill to try to force the government to pursue a customs union with the EU if ministers fail to reach an agreement which establishes "a frictionless free trade area for goods".

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Faced with claims that up to 100 Tories would rebel in favor of these amendments, May's office announced the government would accept them all, arguing that they weren't out of line with her policy.

Disgruntled Brexiteers need to muster 48 MPs' signatures to secure a vote of no confidence, and 159 Tories' votes to oust Mrs May and trigger a summer-long battle for the leadership, with possible candidates including Mr Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and maybe Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Her intervention is also another blow for May's compromise plan for close ties with the European Union, which had already come under fire from Conservatives who want a clean break with the bloc.

Reports at the weekend suggested that about 40 of the 48 MPs needed had lodged no-confidence letters with the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 Committee after May had indicated that the United Kingdom was prepared to sign up to a "common rule book" for food and goods after Brexit.

Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May speaks at the Farnborough Airshow, in Farnborough, Britain July 16, 2018.

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And why did she do so when even in her own party the Brexiter ultras are a small minority, and an even tinier minority in parliament as a whole? "What they have said in those private conversations is that the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs will be worth it to regain our country's sovereignty", she said.

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