Don’t tie our hands in Brexit negotiations, British government tells parliament

Britain's Secretary of State for Education Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan

The Lords amendment number 25, which was voted through by MPs last night, states that the United Kingdom government must not do anything which is incompatible with the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The prime minister still has time to come up with a form of words acceptable to both sides, but the expectations of the anti-Brexit rebels have been raised significantly.

In a highly charged atmosphere in parliament, lawmakers who oppose the government said they had received death threats and brandished a copy of one of Britain's tabloid newspapers, the Daily Express, which ran a headline saying: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

Caroline Flint, a remainer whose Don Valley constituency voted more than two to one to leave, defended her constituents who she said had been insulted "day in and day out by some of the comments in this place and outside are not against all migration".

LONDON - Theresa May avoided defeats on key pillars of her Brexit policy after a majority of MPs voted with the United Kingdom government to defeat a number of amendments on Wednesday evening.

Pro-Brexit politicians argue that staying in an EU customs union would limit Britain's freedom to trade with other countries.

But the rebels were split, with 74 voting in favour of the Lords amendment, which called for the Government to pursue the so-called "Norway Model" membership, and 15 against it.

After it was not clear whether that would win over potential rebels, a minister offered Grieve a compromise to discuss parts of his amendment that the government could adopt - a move aimed at warding off a potential rebellion led by the lawmaker.

During Commons exchanges, supporters of the EEA said it would be an economic "lifeboat" for the United Kingdom after Brexit by reducing the disruption to business.

The pro-European cause was boosted when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, a friend of May's, resigned shortly before the debate in order to back the veto amendment.

Yesterday May agreed in principle to give MPs significant powers to shape the Brexit process.

Earlier, Brexit minister David Davis told parliament a government defeat would undermine negotiations with Brussels and warned lawmakers the government would never allow them to "reverse Brexit".

Conservative Brexit campaigners accused those in the party who indicated they would vote against the government of not respecting the referendum result.

"The Labour Party respects the outcome of the European Union referendum and does not support the EEA or Norway model as it is not the right for option for Britain".

The Brexit talks are progressing painfully slowly, but both sides still hope to reach a deal in October ahead of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019. It meant that the United Kingdom government successfully defeated the Lords amendment, 324 to 298, to the dismay of Labour and other opposition parties.

The most contentious was the bid to give Parliament the power to tell the government what to do if the Brexit deal was voted down or no agreement was reached.

But rebelling on the bill for the first time, Hilary Benn, the former shadow foreign secretary, who chairs the Commons cross-party Brexit committee, said there comes a point where "we have to stand up and be counted".

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