Parliament’s control of the Brexit process now rests on Theresa May’s word


Parliament’s control of the Brexit process now rests on Theresa May’s word

(EurActiv) - Theresa May avoided a humiliating parliamentary defeat to her government's European Union withdrawal bill, but only after appearing to promise rebel MPs an effective block on a "no deal" Brexit.

Mr Grieve confirmed he voted with the UK Government after receiving assurances, telling Sky News: "I am quite satisfied we are going to get a meaningful vote".

Apologists for the continued efforts to derail Brexit - despite the Leave vote in 2016 and an electoral landslide for parties which stood on a platform of delivering a clean Brexit from the EU, its Single Market, and Customs Union in the 2017 snap election - have attempted to justify Parliament's actions by saying it is merely reasserting Parliamentary sovereignty, as Brexit campaigners desired.

On Tuesday night MPs passed a little-noticed amendment to the EU Withdrawal bill, which many MPs now believe could effectively force Britain to stay in the single market after Brexit.

"For all the excitement generated by yesterday's parliamentary manoeuvres, the gap between the government and the pro-'Remain" Conservative Party backbenchers on the issue of a "meaningful vote' is not vast", he said.

She said: "I can not countenance Parliament being able to overturn the will of the British people: Parliament gave the decision to the British people, the British people voted to leave the European Union and as Prime Minister I'm determined to deliver that".

That means that the prospect of a "no deal" Brexit is becoming increasingly unlikely.

Labour MP Ian Murray blamed the government for the lack of debating time, saying United Kingdom ministers could have ensured votes did not take away from the time available for members to speak. The solicitor general, Robert Buckland, has hinted at a government concession at the despatch box, but Grieve and the others have yet to bite.

Conservative Brexit campaigners accused those in the party who indicated they would vote against the government of not respecting the referendum result.

He insisted what had happened in the Commons was a "democratic outrage", adding: "Without debate, without the voices of Scottish MPs being heard, the government pushed through these amendments to rip out the powers from the Scottish Parliament". Known as ping-pong, the bill will move between the commons and the lords until both sides are in agreement on the text - or until the government has made enough concessions for the lords to back down. He said he would vote against the prime minister.

Leading pro-EU Conservative Sarah Wollaston said the "promised further amendment" in the Lords must "closely reflect" the withdrawn proposal.

British Prime Minister Theresa May looks set to avoid an embarrassing defeat in parliament on Wednesday over her post-Brexit trade plans, a day after she defused a rebellion in her party over plans to leave the European Union.

Cabinet secretary David Lidington said the Government agreed with the "spirit" of the amendment, which is effectively "a statement of government policy" and said ministers would allow it to pass with a few tweaks to the legal language.

Remainer Stephen Hammond told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: "We have spoken in a room with the Prime Minister this afternoon, 10 minutes before the first round of voting".