Government defeated heavily in Lords on 'meaningful' Brexit vote

Pauline Gross
June 21, 2018

A DExEU spokesman said: "Agreeing to amendable motions would allow Parliament to direct Government on its approach to exiting the European Union and so does not meet the reasonable tests set out by the Prime Minister and Brexit Secretary last week".

"It also does not meet the reasonable tests set out last week by the prime minister and the secretary of state for exiting the European Union that any new amendment must respect the referendum result, can not undermine the negotiations or change the constitutional role of parliament and government".

Dominic Grieve hit back at reporting of his comments over the weekend, that if parliament votes down the final Brexit deal the government would "collapse".

He told the BBC: "I can't save the Government from getting into a situation where Parliament might disagree with it".

But speaking to the Today programme this morning, Grieve insisted it was "complete nonsense" to suggest any failure to do so would bring down May's government.

Tory Lord True said the amendment would give the House of Commons "potential control over the Government in negotiations", adding: "I believe that to be utterly impractical and totally unconstitutional".

In voting for that plan, the upper chamber rejected the proposal put forward by May's government to give parliament a symbolic vote on next steps, but which stopped short of giving lawmakers the power to change it.

Mr Grieve also admitted that the amendment that will be debated this week had been watered down from its original version.

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The Prime Minister said she had been listening to the concerns of critics but the legislation must not restrict her freedom in talks with Brussels.

Mrs May added: "Parliament can not tie the hands of Government in negotiations".

"We can not accept the amendment on (a) meaningful vote agreed in the Lords".

"If we have no deal at the end it is a very serious crisis", he said.

Under Government plans, if MPs reject the agreement reached by Mrs May with Brussels, or if no deal has been obtained by January 21, Parliament will be offered the opportunity to vote on a "neutral motion" stating it has considered a minister's statement on the issue.

However, the motion will be unamendable, which means MPs won't be able to insert a requirement for Mrs May to renegotiate her Brexit deal, extend the transition phase or revoke our withdrawal under Article 50.

"To rule out "no deal" as an option completely, even as a theoretical negotiating objective, places the government in an impossible position", former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont told lawmakers.

Last week, Conservative backbenchers that do not agree with the "no deal is better than a bad deal" position reached a compromise with the government. last week The UK prime minister promised a "meaningful vote", in the event there was no deal with the European Union by November 2018.

Other reports by GizPress

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