Brexit: Theresa May faces off backbench rebellion as amendments fail by paper-thin margins

Brexit: Theresa May faces off backbench rebellion as bill passes new test in the House of Commons

Ministers made concessions to backbenchers to end dissent growing among the ranks

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Theresa May’s Brexit plans survived their latest test in the House of Commons after a rebellion by backbench MPs was averted due to concessions offered by ministers.

A series of amendments were put to a vote in the Commons, the most high-profile being a Labour proposal, backed by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, to ensure that the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights be incorporated into UK law when Britain breaks from Brussels.

But the amendment was defeated when Solicitor General Robert Buckland pledged that the Government will rethink the human rights issue and bring forward its own amendment at a later stage of the bill’s passage through Parliament.

Despite this concession, the vote to free Britain from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights passed by a majority of just 10.

This was just one of five votes held yesterday, after eight hours of debate. All the  amendments were voted down, but the Government could not secure a majority of more than 20 on any issue.

Despite the concessions, Ken Clarke made clear MPs couldn’t be continually fobbed off, indicating more battles are in store for the Prime Minister as the key legislation on Brexit moves through the houses of Parliament.

The push to get the bill through the Commons is not the only challenge faced by Theresa May.

Reports have been circulating since Monday she will offer an increased amount to the EU as part of the divorce settlement in order to secure fast-tracked talks on trade.

May has been warned this will not necessarily convince EU leaders unless there is more progression on the issue of the Irish border.

Spokespeople for the Prime Minister have declined to confirm the validity of any reports.