Lee resigns United Kingdom justice ministry role in Brexit protest

Theresa May and Nigel Farage

It is expected that Tuesday will see MPs decide whether Parliament should have the power to set the Government's negotiating goals if Theresa May's deal with Brussels is voted down.

The possibility of a government defeat over the amendment began to look more likely after the junior Justice Minister Phillip Lee resigned from the government in order to vote for it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown in parliament with lawmakers later on Tuesday who want a "meaningful vote" on an eventual Brexit deal and to set the government's "direction" if the house rejects the agreement.

The former attorney general said: "The government agreed that the amendment raised an important issue, that the matter about the ability of Parliament to have a meaningful vote not just on the final deal but also on "no deal" had to be allowed".

Tory whips are pressing potential pro-EU rebels in the Conservative Party's ranks to make sure the party rallies enough votes to win.

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".

But in a last-ditch concession by the Government to swerve a revolt, the PM is indicating that it will put forward two of the three parts of Mr Grieve's amendment when the bill returns to the House of Lords.

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Details of the government's commitment will have to be formalised next week in a new amendment to the bill.

May urged Conservative lawmakers to back the government and show "that we are united as a party in our determination to deliver on the decision made by the British people".

Pro-Brexit tabloid the Sun warned lawmakers on Tuesday's front page that they had a choice: "Great Britain or great betrayal". The Daily Express thundered: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

The Bracknell MP, who called for a second referendum on whatever deal Mrs May secures from the European Union, later told the Commons there was growing evidence that the Government's Brexit policy is "detrimental to the people we were elected to serve".

That came after the embarrassing spectacle of government minister Robert Buckland effectively negotiating with Grieve, through a series of interventions in the rebel backbencher's speech, in what Anna Soubry called "a peculiar sort of horse-trading" - and then literally negotiating with him, in whispered exchanges, as the debate went on around them.

In the last few days Remainers have been playing down the chances of a government defeat on the EU Withdrawal Bill, as they keep their powder dry for the forthcoming Trade and Customs Bills.

'The goal of the EU Withdrawal Bill is simple - it is putting EU legislation into law to ensure a smooth and orderly transition as we leave, ' she is expected to tell them.

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