U.K. government wins Brexit skirmish by making concessions

May pleads for unity on crucial Brexit votes as warnings of Tory rebellion gather pace

Prime Minister Theresa May could face a possible backbench revolt and she has urged potential Conservative rebels to support the government.

Theresa May has begged Tory rebels not to undermine her Brexit negotiating position on the eve of key votes in the Commons.

The European Union Withdrawal Bill, a complex piece of legislation meant to disentangle Britain from the bloc, has had a rocky ride through Parliament.

She won a succession of votes on Tuesday overturning Lords amendments, including one which would have removed the date of Brexit on March 29 2019 from the text of the Bill. The two sides aren't yet clear exactly on the terms of their deal, but it looks likely that Parliament will emerge with a greater say in the process.

They've been battling against Brexit on a number of fronts, including trying to ensure that Scotland doesn't lose powers back to Westminster when they come back from Brussels.

The Lords amendment on a "meaningful vote" for MPs was defeated in the Commons by 324 to 298.

But they face a revolt by pro-EU Tory MPs determined to retain as numerous changes as possible in the legislation.

That came after the embarrassing spectacle of government minister Robert Buckland effectively negotiating with Grieve, through a series of interventions in the rebel backbencher's speech, in what Anna Soubry called "a peculiar sort of horse-trading" - and then literally negotiating with him, in whispered exchanges, as the debate went on around them.

A victory for the "meaningful final vote" amendment would leave the government weaker in am upcoming round of talks with European Union negotiators in late June, and also weaken Theresa May's authority as leader.

Parliamentary debates about complex legal amendments rarely rouse much heat, but passions run high over anything to do with Brexit.

Despite many Conservative MPs who backed Remain in the referendum, just two rebelled against the government on a meaningful vote.

Opposition Labour lawmaker Chuka Umunna had earlier accused Britain's tabloids of intimidation, holding up Tuesday's edition of the eurosceptic Daily Express.

The Daily Express, another pro-Brexit tabloid, issued a thinly-veiled threat to lawmakers, saying they should "Ignore the will of the people at [their] peril".

"It would be the end of the Conservative party if they succeed", he said.

Dismissing claims that Mrs May had effectively abandoned her threat that the United Kingdom could leave the European Union without a deal, Mr Jenkin said: "There is only agreement for discussions, not concessions".

"Whatever we do, we're not going to reverse that (decision to leave the EU)", David told BBC radio.

"Parliament, don't stand against the people - implement their will!"

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