Theresa May wins Brexit battle, but faces challenges to come

Theresa May wins Brexit battle, but faces challenges to come

Theresa May wins Brexit battle, but faces challenges to come

Amid all the Commons heat and tension, the whips' "dark arts" and the freaky sight of the chief Tory rebel Dominic Grieve not voting for his own amendment, where does it leave us?

The main opposition Labour party is backing the amendment but it has its own rebels who could vote with the government on Wednesday afternoon.

May commands only a slim majority in the 650-seat Commons, made possible through an alliance with Northern Ireland's 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs.

Peers approved the government's proposal without a vote.

A deal was finally reached after the government offered assurances that Speaker John Bercow will get the final say on the type of Parliamentary vote held if there is no deal struck with the EU.

Appalling mixed metaphors aside, most of the proceedings was taken up with very boring perorations in the House on Brexit as national disaster, catastrophe and apocalypse all rolled into one.

"If we have no deal at the end it is a very serious crisis", he said.

Leading rebel Conservative Dominic Grieve said this was an "obvious acknowledgement of the sovereignty of this place (parliament)", and confirmed he would back the government.

The PM said more detail on the UK-EU's future relationship will be given soon.

"As many of you know, last night we took a decisive step in the legislation, which now irrevocably paves the way for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union", he told a debate in Geneva.

May said: "Today's votes show people in the United Kingdom, and to the European Union, that the elected representatives in this country are getting on with the job, and delivering on the will of the British people".

MPs will this afternoon vote on an amendment which would give Parliament a "meaningful vote" on the Brexit deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels.

Tune in this time next week for exactly the same vote again?

If 21 January passes with no deal being struck.

May's spokesman refused to say if he believes the government has the numbers to win the vote, but made clear that no more concessions would be forthcoming.

The Conservatives had refused to allow "pairing" - where two MPs on either side of the vote are allowed to miss it, cancelling each other out - even before suspending "nodding through".

"If the motion is not in neutral terms it doesn't meet the requirement of the Act of Parliament".

Speaking in the Commons, Dominic Grieve said the issue of the meaningful vote was about giving "assurances to the House and many, many people in the country who are anxious about this process and how it will end".

As a crucial Brexit battle comes to a head in the British parliament on Wednesday, MPs are weighing not just their own views but also their personal safety amid increasingly toxic public debate. Other rebels have also reportedly, "called off the revolt", including former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan.

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