Tory rebels and opposition politicians have handed themselves a veto over the final Brexit deal, combining to defeat Theresa May’s weak government in Parliament.
Long-time Remainer and former Attorney-General Dominic Grieve was able to convince enough of his Tory colleagues to back an amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill giving Parliament a “meaningful” vote on the final Brexit deal to beat the Prime Minister by a narrow 309 votes to 305.
EU loyalists on the Labour benches are triumphant, with MPs such as David Lammy — who penned a “hysterical” statement calling on MPs to “stop the madness” and block Brexit through a parliamentary vote immediately after the referendum — gloating that Parliament had now “taken back control” of the process.
Parliament is dominated by Remainers, with 480 having declared for the EU prior to the June 2016 referendum, compared to 159 to said they would vote to leave.
Those 12 Tory rebels in full… pic.twitter.com/rVsf5MCH90
— Tom Boadle (@TomBoadle) December 13, 2017
“After 18 months of hoodwinking the public into thinking they respect the referendum result, our Establishment politicians have just voted to allow themselves the power to overturn the decision taken by the British people in June of last year. Brexit betrayal is full steam ahead.”
Speaking in the immediate aftermath of the vote, Justice minister Dominic Raab, one of the minority of Brexit supporters in May’s government, confessed the vote was “a significant setback”, but insisted it was “not going to frustrate Brexit”.
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — a lifelong Brexit supporter who succumbed to party pressure and changed sides to back EU membership ahead of the 2016 referendum — was triumphant, boasting of having inflicted “a humiliating loss of authority [on] the government on the eve of the European Council meeting.”
Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries seemed inclined to agree, tweeting: “The Tory rebels have put a spring in Labours step, given them a taste of winning, guaranteed the party a weekend of bad press, undermined the PM and devalued her impact in Brussels. They should be deselected and never allowed to stand as a Tory MP, ever again.”