By Ben Kerrigan-
UK prime minister, Theresa May has escaped the prospect of defeat in the crunch vote on Tuesday after agreeing concessions to Tory rebels at the last minute in a remarkable backtrack on the government’s flagship Brexit legislation.
May met with pro EU backbenchers shortly before the vote was to begin government, as the UK government allowed the desired flexibility to MPs taking control of the negotiations if ministers fail to strike a deal in Brussels. The prime minister’s emergency intervention gives her a sigh of relief, avoiding what would otherwise have been an awful embarrassment to her.
The House rejected by a vote of 324 to 298, the idea of giving legislators power to send the government back to the negotiating table with Brussels if they don’t like the terms of the Brexit deal struck with the EU.Theresa May’s government promised to make its own changes to the bill to strengthen Parliament’s powers.
The revolt was headed off once Tory Mps were generally united that they would all have an opportunity to assess developments in connection with the challenging task of securing a deal, and that a proposed Brexit strategy will be considered if no breakthrough in a deal is forthcoming by the end of the year. Even the time limit agreed now is subject to change provided the collective body of Mps are part of the decision, as opposed to a one track arrangement that sees their opinions ignored.
The outcome is more beneficial for the party as a whole, and the country too. The vote was held just hours after Conservative lawmaker Phillip Lee, who voted ‘Remain’ in Britain’s 2016 referendum , suddenly resigned as a justice minister in order to oppose the government in the crucial vote on controversial aspects of the EU bill. Lee has made no secret of his views that the British public should hold another referendum.
However, Brexit Secretary David Davis, stressed the importance of respecting the outcome of the 2016 referendum, despite some of the frightening scenarios failed negotiations so far appear to indicate. Davis said:
”We must under all circumstances respect the result of the referendum,” Brexit Secretary David Davis told lawmakers as he opened the debate. Davis said giving Parliament power to direct the government’s hand in talks would be “an unconstitutional shift which risks undermining our negotiations with the European Union.”
“It’s not practical, it’s not desirable and it’s not appropriate,” he said. On Wednesday, lawmakers will vote on an amendment seeking to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU.