Leading Tory rebel Dominic Grieve rejects May's Brexit compromise

Elias Hubbard
June 16, 2018

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Soubry said: "This amendment has changed so everything that said we would get that meaningful vote - it is now completely meaningless".

"They are tantalising the Remain side, tantalising those to find a legal means to overthrowing the 2016 referendum result".

But as it passes through Parliament, MPs and peers have been trying to change it, in some cases adding bits on that would change the government's Brexit strategy. First of all, a bad deal offer from the European Union because if those negotiators in the European Union now know their deal could be thrown out, why would they give us a great deal? Brexiters are playing it down - "we can live with it" was the best one pro-Leave MP could muster - but it also signifies a refusal to cede control to those who would seek to maintain the status quo as much as possible.

The issue with Grieve's position identified by Brexiteers is that it effectively allows Remainer MPs to reject any deal the Prime Minister produces as "not good enough" and to reject the alternative of "No Deal" as well - effectively cancelling Brexit.

Asked what he would do next, Grieve said: "I think a group of us will talk further to the government and try to resolve it".

"The sort of Hotel California scenario. If that is given I don't believe Brexit will ever happen".

Instead of allowing MPs to intervene in the event of no deal being reached by mid-January - which would nearly certainly have paved the way for the softest of Brexits (but which may also result in a punishing deal from the EU) the amendment as published grants "a motion in neutral terms" - removing the ability of MPs to alter it with, for example, a demand to stay in the single market.

Ex-Tory attorney general Dominic Grieve told The Independent UK that he spent the morning negotiating with ministers and agreeing a wording to a new amendment to the legislation. He said: "I simply don't understand why they have done this".

The Prime Minister saw off the defeat on Tuesday by persuading rebels that she would offer concessions to address their concerns about being given a truly "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal.

Signalling rebels will seek to remove the unamendable nature of the government's proposal, she tweeted: "Would be amusing if only it wasn't such a serious issue, preventing the most destructive Brexit matters to the majority in parliament. It does feel, I have to say, to be blunt about it, it seems a bit like a slap in the face".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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