Theresa May’s flagship Brexit legislation has once more been thrown into doubt, after a compromise designed to keep Tory backbenchers on board was branded “unacceptable” by leading rebels.
The British Prime Minister saw off defeat on the EU Withdrawal Bill at the last minute on Tuesday by persuading rebels that she would offer concessions to address their concerns about being given a truly “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal.
But an amendment tabled by Brexit Secretary David Davis on Thursday gives MPs no chance to block a “no deal” EU withdrawal if agreement has not been reached with Brussels by January 21 next year.
Instead, MPs would be allowed to vote only on a “neutral” motion, confirming that they have considered a statement by a minister on the issue. And crucially, the statement would be unamendable.
Leading pro-EU Conservative Dominic Grieve told the Press Association: “It is unacceptable in my view. It is not in accordance with the normal procedures of the House of Commons and it totally negates the point of the amendment, which was to give MPs a say.”