United Kingdom minister resigns, plans to rebel over parliament's Brexit role

Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn faces revolt as five Labour MPs resign | Daily Star

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 votes came after two days of bruising debate on the government's key piece of Brexit legislation - the European Union Withdrawal Bill, meant to disentangle Britain from the 28-nation bloc after four decades of membership.

To make matters worse, the justice minister, Philip Lee, resigned just hours before the start of the debate in protest at his own government's position on Brexit.

In a tense atmosphere where it was not clear which way the vote would go, the government secured its victory only after offering concessions to one of the leaders of a group of Conservative lawmakers who were threatening to vote against May.

Former Tory cabinet minister Dominic Grieve, who tried to broker a compromise between MPs and ministers, has warned a no-deal scenario could lead to a "national crisis".

"What it actually amounts to is an unconstitutional shift which risks undermining our negotiation with the European Union", he said.

But the latest manoeuvre by a minority government that has been forced to compromise with parliament anxious some lawmakers who feared it would hand the European Union an incentive to withhold any agreement on an exit deal to force a "softer" Brexit.

At around 4pm today, we will get possibly the most important Parliamentary vote of the entire year so far.

Brexit backers see this clause as weakening the government's negotiating position, as they want May to be able to threaten to walk away.

However, her concession to "seek to negotiate" a "customs arrangement" with the European Union was enough to placate Conservative MPs who were threatening to rebel.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly avoided a major blow to her Brexit strategy Tuesday after MPs rejected a plan that would have given parliament a veto on the final deal negotiated with Brussels.

So the rebels might sit tight until July, when they will have another opportunity to force May to change direction and keep closer ties to the bloc.

On Tuesday, British lawmakers had voted to push through Brexit legislation including measures affecting Scotland such as agriculture and fisheries which did not have the consent of Holyrood, the devolved Scottish parliament where the SNP is the biggest party.

The government averted a rebellion on Tuesday over whether Parliament should have a decisive say in such a scenario.

A paper laying out the U.K. government position on future relations, due to be published this month, has been delayed until July because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance.

The resignation by Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of the government's Brexit strategy, underlined the deep rifts in the party makes such votes anything but easy. But she faces a gruelling bout of "parliamentary ping-pong" with the Lords, as the Bill bounces back and forth between the two Houses over the coming weeks.

The government was forced to give ground to pro-EU lawmakers in one key area, promising that Parliament would get more say over the U.K. -EU divorce deal.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, and the bloc is frustrated with what it sees as a lack of firm proposals from the U.K about future relations. She now relies on the support of a small Northern Irish party.

It emerged last night - after much horse-trading around Westminster - that the government would accept parts A and B of Grieve's amendments. "It would be a catastrophic blow". The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

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