Friday, 19 October, 2018

May wins vote on customs in boost for her Brexit vision

Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London Britain Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London Britain
Steven Clarke | 14 June, 2018, 14:54

The battle over customs is far from over.

Before the vote, May held talks with more than 14 Tory rebels in her Commons office that lasted 11 hours, giving them personal assurances that she would agree to the broad thrust of their proposals.

In a statement, Jeremy Corbyn said he understood the "difficulties" facing MPs "representing constituencies which voted strongly for Leave or Remain" on the issue of the EEA.

The government also beat off an amendment by the main opposition Labour Party.

The votes tonight followed a dramatic day of politics in Westminster on Tuesday, when Prime Minister May agreed in principle to give MPs greater power in the Brexit process in order to avoid a humiliating defeat.

The "meaningful vote" will be the first major test after the House of Lords introduced changes to the bill, trying to reshape the government's approach to Brexit by encouraging lawmakers to press for the closest possible ties. The EU will not formally ratify the transition deal without reaching an agreement on the details of the backstop plan.

The Lords amendment number 25, which was voted through by MPs last night, states that the United Kingdom government must not do anything which is incompatible with the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

A Department for Exiting the European Union spokesman said: "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".

Pro-Brexit politicians argue that staying in an EU customs union would limit Britain's freedom to trade with other countries.

And he insisted that a No Deal option should remain on the table.

WH adviser Navarro apologizes for 'special place in hell' slam at Trudeau
President Donald Trump , left, chats with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 8, 2018, during the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que. Warner said that Trump's behavior undermined US leadership and spited allies that Washington is deeply reliant on.

This week, British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a moment of truth over Brexit.

The now former junior shadow minister and MP for Crewe and Nantwich tweeted that she was "tired of being told that I am blocking Brexit by criticising the government's approach to negotiations". "It enables parliament to dictate to government its course of action in an global negotiation".

Leading rebel Dominic Grieve said he hoped a compromise would be found, but if not, "this isn't the end of the matter".

MPs have won a concession from the Government over the future of the Irish border, ensuring there will be no physical "checks and controls" after Brexit.

But that vote required last-minute concessions to pro-European Tories, and they warned Wednesday they could yet seek to defeat the government if May fails to fulfil her promises. However, the party is divided on the issue, with a total of 89 Labour MPs choosing to defy Corbyn. Brexit secretary David Davis had two long meetings with the prime minister this morning after allies made it clear he was threatening to resign over plans to allow the backstop to be unlimited.

She was joined by Ged Killen, Ellie Reeves, Tonia Antoniazzi, Anna McMorrin and Rosie Duffield, who all resigned from their roles as Parliamentary Private Secretaries.

Earlier, Labour failed in an attempt to amend the EU Withdrawal Bill with their own alternative motion to guarantee "full access" to European markets after Brexit but outside the EEA.

Backbencher Angela Smith tweeted: "Majority of Labour backbenchers voted for Lords" Amendment on EEA tonight.

Barnier hit out at Britain's pro-Brexit politicians who accuse the European Union of taking a tough stand that slows the pace of negotiations.

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