Scottish Labour MP resigns from frontbench to back Brexit rebellion

Scottish Labour MP resigns from frontbench to back Brexit rebellion

Dr Lee said his main objection to Government policy was over the "wish to limit Parliament's role in contributing to the final outcome" and signalled he would rebel on the issue in the Commons later.

The government is trying to reverse changes inserted by the House of Lords that would soften the terms of Brexit and give Parliament more say in the process.

It agreed to work towards a "customs arrangement" with the European Union in a compromise move, and gave a concession to rebels on a vote to give Parliament a "meaningful vote" on a Brexit deal.

This amendment had looked unsafe for the prime minister.

The government won the EEA vote comfortably after Labour abstained, although three Tory MPs, Ken Clarke, Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve, rebelled themselves and backed the motion. But how much of the proposed amendment has actually been accepted by the government?

It was Labour divisions that were exposed on Wednesday by votes on the EEA plan.

Yvette Cooper, the former shadow home secretary who now chairs the home affairs select committee said she would obey the party whip and not vote for membership of the EEA only because she wanted to try to build consensus.

Ms Cooper added she believes there is a majority across the country and Government in favour of a "close economic relationship", which means some version of single market participation - or as close as the United Kingdom can get to it.

Brexiteers say nothing of the sort has been promised, while ministers say they have only promised more discussions and will not agree to MPs "binding the government's hands in negotiations".

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said ministers had listened "very carefully" to the views of MPs from different parties and would amend the bill when it returns to the Lords next week.

Following its defeat, the government's own version of the amendment will now go forward.

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However, although the prime minister was spared the complication and embarrassment of defeats of Wednesday, issues like customs are set to be revisited in a few weeks time when more Brexit-related legislation is put to MPs. The government earlier had said it would not support that amendment.

"We are asking members of parliament to abide by the referendum result, our manifesto commitment and to back our country", Andrew Bridgen, Conservative lawmaker and Brexit campaigner, told Reuters.

Yesterday a minister unexpectedly resigned over the government's Brexit strategy, but one of his constituents is still absolutely fuming about it.

Opening debate on the flagship EU Withdrawal Bill in the House of Commons, Mr Davis warned that the "cumulative effect" of a series of Lords amendments would "make it impossible to deliver the smooth and orderly exit we want".

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has bravely tried to steer a credible path on Brexit and in particular the big issues like the single market and the customs union.

However, her concession to "seek to negotiate" a "customs arrangement" with the European Union was enough to placate Conservative MPs who were threatening to rebel.

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.

"Theresa May doesn't need the support of the DUP anymore because she can always rely on Manchester's Jeff Smith to whip the Labour party in line with her".

Brexit is due in nine months and an exit agreement probably has to be made by November in time to be ratified by 27 European Union parliaments.

"The question of what form parliamentary approval of the withdrawal bill takes is one of the most significant decisions this house will have to take", he said.

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