Thursday, 13 December, 2018

United Kingdom justice minister resigns over Brexit ahead of key votes

Steven Clarke | 13 June, 2018, 02:43

They subsequently warned they will not be easily bought off, while Tory Brexiteers urged ministers not to concede any ground.

Details of the government's commitment will have to be formalised next week in a new amendment to the bill.

Mr Grieve withdrew his own amendment, which would have given MPs powers to dictate what the Government should do if no acceptable agreement is reached by February 2019.

Pro-Brexit members of the government want to be able to play the "no deal" card, but the House of Commons, where pro-EU voices are stronger, would nearly certainly reject the idea. Mr Grieve's proposal will now be added to the legislation.

May objected to the amendment - inserted by the House of Lords - because she said it would tie her hands in the negotiation. "I'm fairly confident we will be able to do that".

They did so by offering a concession to Tory backbenchers. Wollaston tweeted: "Following further assurances that further govt amendments will come forward in the Lords, I will now be supporting the govt".

In a concession, the government promised that lawmakers would have a say on what to do next if there is no agreement with the European Union, or if Parliament rejects the deal offered.

"In all conscience, I can not support the Government's decision to oppose this amendment because doing so breaches such fundamental principles of human rights and Parliamentary sovereignty".

The possibility of a government defeat over the amendment began to look more likely after the junior Justice Minister Phillip Lee resigned from the government in order to vote for it.

Mohamed Salah threatens to quit Liverpool after Nabil Fekir deal collapse
The former Roma star is fighting to be fit for Egypt's 2018 World Cup opener against Uruguay . Egypt is playing in its first World Cup since 1990.

The motion to reject the Lords amendment, which would have given MPs control over the government's negotiation strategy and the final exit deal, therefore passed by 324 votes to 298 - a majority of 26 votes.

"This justifies my decision to resign and makes it a lot less painful".

Fellow Tory Remainers Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke were not convinced by ministers' concession and voted against the government by backing the Lords amendment on a "meaningful vote".

Well what the Remainer MPs thought they heard from May does not seem compatible with Davis's red lines.

Despite many Conservative MPs who backed Remain in the referendum, just two rebelled against the government on a meaningful vote.

The opposition Labour Party wants to force the government to negotiate a Brexit deal where the United Kingdom retains "full access" to the EU's single market and that would ensure "no new impediments" to trade.

A paper laying out the U.K. government position, due to be published this month, has been delayed because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance. Brexit-backers objected as it would have all but removed the no-deal nuclear option from negotiators' arsenal.

They have an ace up their sleeve as they go into talks with the government: if May reneges on her pledge, pro-EU members of the House of Lords will amend her legislation again. "That's what this House voted on Article 50".

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