Government wins Brexit bill vote after concessions

Theresa May is facing a potential revolt from two warring factions in her party, as both Brexiteers and Remainers remain locked in a fierce argument over a "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal.

The concession on a meaningful vote came after intensive horse-trading on the floor of the House of Commons, with chief whip Julian Smith shuttling between Tory backbenchers during debate on Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The European Union Withdrawal Bill, a complex piece of legislation meant to disentangle Britain from four decades of EU rules and regulations, has had a rocky ride through Parliament. Its Lords were instrumental in bringing about some of the amendments that have been sent back to the Commons.

Protesters outside the UK Parliament in central London.

"We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the government's hands in the negotiations".

"It's not practical, it's not desirable and it's not appropriate", Davis said.

The former attorney general told Press Association: "The Prime Minister agreed that the amendments we had tabled, and the issue that we had raised about Parliament's role in the event of no deal was an important one, and undertook to work with us to put together amendments to present in the Lords which would address those concerns".

Mr Grieve's amendment to secure a vote of Mrs May's final Brexit deal was voted down by 324 votes to 298 after many Tory rebels finally chose to back the Government.

To buy off a group of Tory rebels - whose ranks were boosted by the shock resignation of Justice Minister Phillip Lee Tuesday morning - the prime minister agreed in principle, according to the rebels, to write into law a new deadline in the Brexit talks: November 30, 2018.

A file photograph of justice minister Phillip Lees. And it makes a "no deal" scenario less likely.

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Pro-Brexit members of the government want to be able to play the "no deal" card, but the House of Commons, where pro-EU voices are stronger, would nearly certainly reject the idea.

"In all conscience, I can not support the Government's decision to oppose this amendment because doing so breaches such fundamental principles of human rights and Parliamentary sovereignty".

The Prime Minister is now expected to get through the latest round of crunch Brexit votes unscathed, with a potentially explosive clash over the customs union on Wednesday already defused by a compromise amendment.

May's divided cabinet has yet to settle on what sort of customs deal Britain should have with the European Union - an issue of crucial importance to businesses with cross-border supply chains, and the land border between European Union member state Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

Brexit protesters outside Parliament House.

The amendment could effectively hand control of the Brexit process to parliament if it goes ahead.

The bloc's Brexit negotiators have published an analysis of the Prime Minister's plans which suggests strongly that they will not be accepted. The Daily Express thundered: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

One government official said: "It's not over yet".

Pro-Brexit Conservative MP Edward Leigh slammed pro-EU colleagues, saying Parliament must respect the result of the June 2016 voter referendum.

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