News May secures major victory in major parliamentary Brexit battle By NEOnline

Theresa May Dominic Grieve

Mr Grieve, who has one of the most formidable legal minds in parliament, spent the past few months pushing for a "meaningful vote" amendment in the House of Commons on the Brexit deal due to be secured by Theresa May.

And leading Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve, who tabled the initial motion demanding a "meaningful vote", told MPs in the Commons chamber that he would back the Government.

May and her senior Brexit ministers were eager to avoid words in the Brexit bill that would tie their hands in their negotiations with Brussels.

Conservative former minister and anti-Brexiteer Anna Soubry also rebelled, insisting MPs' power to reject the Government's plans must be enshrined in statute.

Despite the concession six Tory rebels voted for the amendment, while on the Labour side four pro-Brexit MPs defied their whips to vote with the Government against it.

Peers accepted the amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill sent to them from the House of Commons, meaning the bill now goes for Royal Assent, becoming law.

The Prime Minister staved off a Tory rebellion on the move last week but faces a bruising battle in the latest round of voting amid claims she failed to implement a compromise that opponents believed they were promised.

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With the Government instead offering only an unamendable "neutral motion" allowing MPs to take note of the situation, Mrs May was thought to be facing a knife-edge vote.

Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer accused May of telling Parliament: "Tough luck". They argue this would bind the government's hands in negotiations, which May and her team say is unacceptable.

"You can not enter a negotiation without the right to walk away", Brexit Secretary David Davis told lawmakers. She needs to drive several bills through parliament preparing Britain for life outside the bloc, and some lawmakers may flex their muscles on other issues, such as future trade arrangements.

"And in the circumstances that might follow a no deal, which would undoubtedly be one of the biggest political crises in modern British history, if the house wishes to speak ... the house has the power to do it", Grieve said.

Before his about-turn, Grieve had argued that government promises did not hand parliament enough control to prevent the "chaos" that could follow Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal.

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg says the government should be anxious by how tight the vote was, even after the compromise was struck with Grieve, which could be a sign of "big problems ahead".

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