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Meaningful vote rejected: how key MPs voted on the Brexit amendment

13 June 2018

But after the prime minister personally assured a group of around 15 rebels that Mr Grieve's amendment would be partially adopted into the Bill before it went back to the Lords the rebels backed down.

Dr Lee's shock departure came as Brexit Secretary David Davis warned potential Tory rebels that they can not undo the European Union referendum, ahead of a tricky 48 hours in which the Government will try to get its Brexit programme back on track.

MPs in the House of Commons will vote on a raft of amendments produced by the House of Lords, including one at around 3 p.m. GMT (8.30 p.m. IST) that would give parliament an effective veto over Brexit.

Two days of debate on the laws that will end Britain's European Union membership have crystallised long-running divisions within May's party about the best strategy for leaving the European Union, bringing to a head issues that will determine the relationship between the world's fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading bloc.

"I think it would be fairly certain that one of the members of the House of Lords would find a way to put down Dominic's original wording, that couldn't be voted on yesterday".

In a day of drama at Westminster, ministers caved into the rebel demands for a "meaningful vote" on Brexit in order to prevent a defeat on the EU Withdrawal bill which could have triggered a leadership crisis for the prime minister.

In other words, in the event of a divorce deal that the Commons refused to accept, MPs would be able to set a new course for Brexit. Should the prime minister go back on her pledge, the rebels are confident their amendment will be inserted into the bill in the Lords.

They reassured anti-Brexit MPs that the government would accept some of their core demands to give parliament a meaningful say on the terms of Britain's European Union divorce, including - potentially - a new deadline for a deal to be agreed with Brussels that could make it hard for the government.

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Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said that the only reason May's government had decided on a climb down was because 'they thought they were going to lose the vote'.

This came after a last-minute resignation by the justice minister Dr Phillip Lee, who said he could no longer look his children in the eye and vote to support the government.

"MPs must remember that people did not vote to leave with caveats in mind". David Davis, the Brexit secretary, was reportedly close to resigning over the issue last weekend.

Leading Conservative rebels welcomed the "important concessions" by the government, but insisted that ministers must follow through on their concession or face a defeat when the bill returns to the House of Commons later this month. Now the focus shifts to the price of the rebels' compliance, and it could be a high one for the beleaguered prime minister. The government earlier had said it would not support that amendment.

Earlier, May appeared to have also stemmed a rebellion over her commitment to leaving the EU's customs union which will transform Britain's trading relationships for decades to come. They stood down after the government promised to engage in talks on a compromise. Yes, it's a significant compromise but we live to fight another day.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is in a frantic search for the flawless compromise.

The cumulative effect of 14 Lords amendments which the Government is seeking to overturn could be to "make it impossible to deliver the smooth and orderly exit we want", he warned.

Meaningful vote rejected: how key MPs voted on the Brexit amendment