Friday, 17 August, 2018

U.K. Minister Phillip Lee Resigns Ahead of Brexit Bill Showdown

Former justice minister Phillip Lee told the House of Commons he was ‘devastated’ over his resignation Former justice minister Phillip Lee told the House of Commons he was ‘devastated’ over his resignation
Steven Clarke | 14 June, 2018, 03:17

The issue of a "meaningful vote" is set to be a flashpoint in the Commons, with ministers seeking to overturn a Lords amendment which would give Parliament extensive powers to direct ministers how to proceed if a deal with Brussels is rejected by MPs or no deal is reached.

The disagreement centres on whether the government agreed to consider a specific clause of the rebel proposal that would hand parliament control of the Brexit process if ministers are unable to strike an exit deal by February 15, 2019.

The Bracknell MP, who called for a second referendum on whatever deal Mrs May secures from the European Union, later told the Commons there was growing evidence that the Government's Brexit policy is "detrimental to the people we were elected to serve". Several pro-EU Conservative lawmakers said they would join the opposition in voting against the government. These kinds of promises by the government are fundamental to the way in which parliament and the government work together to craft legislation that the majority of MPs can live with. "Reverse" in this context means opting for a Brexit that does not entail leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market, even at the cost of failing to avoid a border in Ireland.

The government averted defeat Tuesday by promising that Parliament would get more say over the U.K. -EU divorce deal.

But the cabinet's anxiety about the nail-biting parliamentary arithmetic increased significantly after the resignation of Bracknell MP Phillip Lee, who left his post on Tuesday morning to free his hand to vote against the government.

Having been debated by both the lower house of parliament, the Commons, and the unelected upper house, the Lords, the bill is in its final stages.

"This is the moment when we have to tell each other the truth", said Hilary Benn, a Labour lawmaker who voted for the EEA motion.

Manchester United reportedly won't sell any centre-backs if they sign Alderweireld
But it's reported that Mourinho still wants to shore up his back four, telling vice chairman Ed Woodward to focus on central defence.

Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, took up the Lords' meaningful vote clause and ran with it in the Commons. Her spokesman told reporters that the government would have to present it on Thursday.

Some of the pro-EU rebels said they had been assured by May that elements proposed by Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve would be brought into the European Union withdrawal bill, which will sever ties with the bloc and "copy and paste" its laws.

Pro-EU lawmakers, however, welcomed it as a signal that the government was moving towards ruling out a hardline "no deal" Brexit.

Opening the debate, Brexit Secretary David Davis insisted the government would abide by three principles to defend the will of the British people. "If the PM goes back on that there will be no agreed amendment that I can support". The Brexit Department said in a statement that it would look for compromise, but would not agree to lawmakers "binding the government's hands" in negotiations.

The vote is being sold as a victory for Grieve and his band of Tory rebels. But it's also worth recalling that the wording of his amendment was later deemed so weak that the Lords had to beef it up.

Lawmakers also rejected, much more narrowly, calls to keep the U.K.in a customs union with the EU.

May said the government would amend the bill to address legislators' concerns, but warned that "I can not countenance Parliament being able to overturn the will of the British people".

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