May survives fresh Brexit vote but rebels up the pressure

May Gives Brexit ‘Climb Down’ to Tory Rebels to Win Lords Amendment Votes			BEN STANSALL  AFP  Getty Images		13 Jun 2018

Labour split three ways as the Commons debated a Lords amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill calling for EEA membership to remain on the negotiating table. The proposed legislation will be sent back to peers on Monday.

But after the prime minister personally assured a group of around 15 rebels that Mr Grieve's amendment would be partially adopted into the Bill before it went back to the Lords the rebels backed down.

A commitment that there will be no "physical infrastructure, including border posts, or checks and controls" in Northern Ireland has effectively killed a no deal scenario with the EU, MPs have heard.

Caroline Flint, Labour MP for, argued against both EEA proposals, saying "there has to be an end to freedom of movement" when Brexit comes into force.

Welcoming the move, a Labour spokesperson said: "Labour has repeatedly emphasised that Brexit can not lead to a hard border in Northern Ireland or any disruption to the North-South cooperation guaranteed by the Good Friday Agreement".

During Commons exchanges, supporters of the EEA said it would be an economic "lifeboat" for the United Kingdom after Brexit, but critics said it would in effect nullify the result of the 2016 referendum.

Ged Killen, Ellie Reeves, Tonia Antoniazzi, Rosie Duffield and Anna McMorrin all handed in their resignations as parliamentary private secretaries (PPPs), alongside Smith.

Jeremy Corbyn issued a three-line whip - the strictest of all orders - to abstain on an amendment that would have forced the government to negotiate staying in the European Economic Area.

But he insisted Labour could not support the so-called Norway model as he did not believe it was the "right option" for the UK.

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"I bet you a pint, he will not allow to stand in the next general election".

Future trading and customs arrangements have become perhaps the most sensitive issue in the UK's negotiations with Brussels. This was defeated by 322 votes to 240.

Lawmakers kicked off two days of debate on Tuesday on changes to May's Brexit blueprint, or European Union withdrawal bill, after the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, introduced 15 changes.

Brexit Secretary David Davis, who reportedly has clashed with May, has warned Conservative Party rebels that proposals to give Parliament the power to direct negotiations with the European Union are simply a tactic to overturn the results of the 2016 referendum that mandated Britain's departure from the bloc.

Bruce Crawford, the convener of Holyrood's Constitution Committee, has now called for the Scottish Secretary to come before MSPs "as a matter of urgency" in the wake of Tuesday's vote in the commons.

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable accused Labour of wasting an opportunity to defeat the Government, accusing Mr Corbyn of being "completely defunct as an Opposition Leader".

Mr Rees-Mogg told Newsnight that the concessions sought by Tories including Dominic Grieve would "gum up" negotiations with the EU.

They accepted a proposal by Labour MP Yvette Cooper to widen the terms under which unaccompanied child refugees could be reunited with family members living in the UK.

"The amendment passed in the Lords and accepted today by the Government states that there can be no physical infrastructure introduced between Northern Ireland and the Republic following exit day, and that nothing in the act can diminish full North-South cooperation".

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