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Brexit: House of Lords EU Withdrawal Bill amendment voted down by MPs
13 June 2018, 08:19 | Erica Roy
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.
If May is defeated in the House of Commons it will be yet another blow to a prime minister whose authority has been challenged several times since last year's election.
But the resignation by Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of the government's Brexit strategy, underlined the deep rifts in the party over Brexit that makes such votes anything but easy.
British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a knife-edge vote in parliament on June 12 on her centrepiece Brexit legislation, despite her last-minute warning that defeat risks undermining her negotiations with Brussels.
Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme what would happen under Government plans if MPs voted against the deal eventually secured by Mrs May, Mr Davis said: "If they throw it out, well, they throw it out".
Earlier this year, Lee had called on the government to release its economic impact assessments of Brexit and suggested the government change tack in talks with the European Union, underlining the deep rifts in his party over the best way to manage Britain's exit.
These were the words of a minister expecting to win the vote.
307 Conservative MPs backed the government, which is a strong result for Theresa May, who just hours earlier had feared she would lose her majority due to disgruntled Tory MPs.
Rebels had been pushing for an amendment that would have given Parliament unprecedented powers over the final stages of Brexit talks.
But these putative pledges by the PM are inconsistent with Tuesday night's statement by Davis's officials that any new amendment relating to the power of MPs to accept or reject a Brexit deal must not restrict her negotiating freedom - or restrict her ability to sign whatever treaty with the European Union she would like.
The EU published an explainer of its own backstop proposal in a bid to convince the United Kingdom government of its merits, but Theresa May has said it is not acceptable because it creates a regulatory border between Northern Ireland and the UK.
A spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: "On the meaningful vote we have agreed to look for a compromise when this goes back to the Lords". The strength of this commitment is yet to be seen in writing - and the Brexit department is still insisting it has not given up control of the negotiations - but the anti-Brexit rebels showed they have the numbers to force a defeat should the government renege on its pledge.
Matthew Pennycook, one of the opposition Labour Party's Brexit policy team, urged lawmakers to vote to hand parliament more powers.
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