May Gives Brexit ‘Climb Down’ to Tory Rebels to Win Lords Amendment Votes

elections
BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

The Prime Minister has defeated a series of anti-Brexit amendments to the Brexit Withdrawal Bill after making heavy concessions to stop pro-Brussels Tories rebelling.

The defeated amendments, from the House of Lords, include one handing Parliament the final say on any deal the government strikes with Brussels.

Another, aiming to force Theresa May into staying in “a customs union” with the European Union will be voted on Wednesday.

The cost of support from the potential rebels, to win Tuesday night’s votes, was a promise to give MPs a say if a deal is not struck with the EU, as many were concerned about the idea that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.

Anti-Brexit Labour MP Chuka Umunna described the “climb-down on giving Parliament a meaningful vote” as “significant”.

Mr. Umunna works with the group Best for Britain, which is pushing to overturn Brexit, and takes money from the pro-open borders billionaire George Soros.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leading Brexiteer MP, argued that the concession was a “mistake” but also claimed it made a “no deal” scenario more likely. He told Channel 4 News:

“If we get into the position where there is not a deal that the House of Commons likes and it sets down motions for what the government must do, if it asks for things that the EU then doesn’t give, it will take too long for the Government to be able to go back to Parliament to get a deal [before Brexit day].”

The so-called “meaningful say” vote was defeated by 324 votes to 298.

However, a lesser version, pushed by Dominic Grieve MP, got through the Commons in December and guarantees some form of Commons vote that could hinder Brexit at the final stages.

Another rejected amendment would have obliged a committee to scrutinise all ministerial directives used to amend or alter retained European law. It was defeated by 324 to 302 votes.

.