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

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

A junior minister in the government of British Prime Minister Theresa May resigned on Tuesday ahead of a crucial vote that could decide the future of Brexit-and perhaps the Prime Minister herself.

The government averted a rebellion on Tuesday over whether Parliament should have a decisive say in such a scenario. One pro-Brexit minister insisted the rebels had lost, and warned that if they continued to fight May they would only make a "no deal" divorce more likely.

But Solicitor General Robert Buckland said while talks may "yield fruit" - he could not guarantee a change in policy.

Nick said: "You were told what to do, why won't you do it?"

Labour MPs are expected to rebel against their party whip in significant numbers to vote in favour of a Lords amendment to keep the United Kingdom in a Norway-style trading arrangement post-Brexit.

Due to the concessions offered, the details of which have not yet been fully revealed, two Conservative MPs - Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry - rebelled.

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.

The pound rose on Tuesday after British Prime Minister Theresa May saw off a rebellion in parliament over amendments to a bill for the country's exit from the European Union next year that had threatened to undermine her authority.

A group of backbenchers had been planning to back an alternative amendment spearheaded by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, which would have given MPs a greater say over the Brexit process.

One of the key points of difference between the Prime Minister and the rebels is a Lords amendment which states the Government must seek to negotiate a customs union with the EU.

Politics is often about the big picture, but sometimes it is a festival for pedants.

Just hours before the vote, the pressure on Ms.

In fact, her party is far from united.

"The decision was taken by the people, we gave them that decision and we have to stand by it", said Conservative MP Bill Cash.

If May is defeated by a wide margin her position as Prime Minister could be threatened. "I am sure a sensible amendment will be forthcoming which we can all agree to".

The parts of his amendment which he expects to be taken forward by ministers provide a mechanism by which Parliament has to be consulted by the end of November in the event of no deal or if a proposed agreement is rejected, he said.

Grieve's proposal also suggested if no deal was reached by February 15, the government would be required to allow the House of Commons to set the terms of the deal.

"Anything that undermines the government at home will make negotiations with the European Union more hard", May told a meeting of her cabinet. "There is an expectation that a discussion will yield fruit and I am not saying it won't".

"First, we must never do anything that undermines the Government's negotiating position or encourages delays in the negotiations", Mr Davis said.

In a day of drama, May's position seemed suddenly weaker when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of the government's Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.

Bill revokes the 1972 Act which took the United Kingdom into the European Economic Area, but also transposes all relevant EU law into British statute so there are no holes in the law book at the point of Brexit.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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