Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Pro-EU lawmaker in Conservative party - 'We could collapse government'

Pro-EU lawmaker in Conservative party - 'We could collapse government'

"If the Prime Minister's final Brexit deal is voted down, that can not give her licence to crash the United Kingdom out of the European Union without an agreement", Labour's Brexit spokesman Matthew Pennycook said in a statement.

He added that giving MPs a say if there is no deal in the months before Brexit would avoid a "road crash".

"And I can assure you I wake up at 2am in a cold sweat thinking about the problems that we have put on our shoulders".

However, the government has fallen into a row with lawmakers in May's own party who think parliament should have a greater say in the exit process than ministers want to give it.

They backed, by 354 votes to 235, an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill created to strengthen the terms of the "meaningful vote" that Theresa May has promised to give Parliament.

"It has been suggested that I want to collapse the government - I don't", Grieve told BBC Radio.

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"It is absolutely right Parliament can not micromanage the government's negotiating".

Under these circumstances, the government has said, a minister will make a statement in Parliament, setting out the government's next steps.

"Whichever way the vote ultimately goes, the idea that the Government is going to be endangered by this difference of view within the House of Commons which might lead to its defeat is complete nonsense".

Mr Grieve also admitted that the amendment that will be debated this week had been watered down from its original version.

While Mrs May said she had been taking on board the concerns of her critics, but stressed the legislation must not restrict her freedom in the exit talks.

But Lords' leader Baroness Evans of Bowes Park said the amendment had "flaws" and insisted the Government had come back with a "fair, practical and constitutionally sound offer" to meet the demands of peers and MPs.

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Lord Hailsham said that Mr Grieve thought he had an agreement with the solicitor general last week, but it then appeared "senior ministers" had objected to it and it had now been "repudiated". "But there is a risk it will happen, and if we have no deal at the very end it is a serious crisis".

Mrs May added: "Parliament can not tie the hands of Government in negotiations".

However, the motion will be unamendable, which means MPs won't be able to insert a requirement for Mrs May to renegotiate her Brexit deal, extend the transition phase or revoke our withdrawal under Article 50.

Downing Street said the government had set out its position on Lords reform earlier this year when the prime minister called for "restraint" in the appointment of new peers following proposals to reduce the size of the upper chamber.

"It's a fight we've got to have and it's best sooner rather than later".

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