Irish PM says European Union needs decisions from United Kingdom, not internal debate

Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn faces revolt as five Labour MPs resign | Daily Star

A majority of MPs defeated attempts to turn the prime minister's Brexit policy on its head on Wednesday.

The battle over customs is far from over.

Backbencher Angela Smith tweeted: "Majority of Labour backbenchers voted for Lords" Amendment on EEA tonight.

Yesterday May agreed in principle to give MPs significant powers to shape the Brexit process.

Theresa May's landmark Brexit legislation returns to the House of Commons on Tuesday, with the 15 amendments added to it by the upper House of Lords mostly created to keep closer ties to the European Union and give Parliament more power over the divorce process.

Conservative sources said that four more junior ministers were considering following in Dr Lee's wake as part of a co-ordinated plot to scupper Mrs May's Brexit plans.

On Tuesday, MPs debated and voted on proposed amendments to the government's EU Withdrawal Bill - which is still a long way from becoming law, but has already been touted as "the greatest constitutional change since the war".

But it was in the Labour Party where the deepest rifts were exposed.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government would amend the bill to address legislators' concerns, but added: "I can not countenance parliament being able to overturn the will of the British people".

However, May made a last minute offer to enter talks about accepting the bulk of an alternative rebel amendment which would give MPs more limited powers to prevent Britain from crashing out of the European Union without a deal.

Mr Grieve acknowledged the EEA amendment is "rather flawed" but that it also has merit before saying Labour's proposal was a "motherhood and apple pie" amendment which he could not support.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is being finalised in parliament after more than 250 hours of debate.

Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan
EU Withdrawal Bill debate: Day 1

This amendment had looked unsafe for the prime minister.

May had feared a rebellion by members of her Conservative Party over the motion, one of 15 submitted by the unelected upper House of Lords being considered by MPs over the course of two days.

That said, while the government may have won the battle on customs, the war is still to come.

Despite the defeats, MPs will debate the customs union and single market again in the coming weeks, when pro-European Conservatives are seeking to amend two other bills.

Dominic Grieve, arch-Remainer and leading rebel, has tabled his own amendment which is a compromise on the meaningful vote one.

Yvette Cooper, Labour chairwoman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, warned against a "Dad's Army version of Brexit" and said the United Kingdom is in danger of "turning ourselves into a national joke" by not focusing on the real issues.

If confirmed, the move represents a dramatic climbdown from Mrs May's original plan to offer MPs a "take it or leave it" vote to accept the withdrawal agreement or leave the European Union without a deal.

"A vote between bad and worse is not a meaningful vote".

MPs voted against controversial plans to tie Britain to the European Economic Area (EEA) which would have meant the continuation of free movement. She was joined by Ged Killen, Ellie Reeves, Tonia Antoniazzi, Anna McMorrin and Rosie Duffield, who all resigned from their roles as Parliamentary Private Secretaries. The decision by the Labour leadership to whip MPs into abstaining on the Lords' amendment on effectively remaining in the single market - was based on deception and distortion.

However, Labour MPs from Leave-voting seats - like Caroline Flint and Gareth Snell - have warned Corbyn that an EEA-style Brexit would not respect the wishes of Leave voters.

Pro-Brexit politicians argue that staying in an EU customs union would limit Britain's freedom to trade with other countries.

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