United Kingdom justice minister resigns ahead of key Brexit debate

Jeremy Corbyn

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown in parliament with lawmakers later on Tuesday who want a "meaningful vote" on an eventual Brexit deal.

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.

Parliament will vote Tuesday on a key piece of legislation, the E.U. Withdrawal bill, that would transfer European Union laws now on British books into British law after Brexit.

Mrs May is coming under increasing pressure from European Union negotiators to come up with detailed positions not only on customs, but also on future trade relations and governance.

"I absolutely trust what the Prime Minister says to us", he told BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

And in a final vote, MPs voted by 326 votes to 301 to disagree with Lords amendment 52 linked to what European Union laws the United Kingdom will keep after Brexit.

When asked if May would lead the conservatives into the next United Kingdom election, Davis also said "I think so. actually I hope so".

Facing the prospect of losing a vote on a crucial amendment to the government's flagship Brexit legislation - which was created to empower parliament to vote down the final deal without risking a "no-deal" exit from the bloc - ministers intervened with a concession at the 11th hour even as MPs were wrapping up debate on the controversial measure.

The "meaningful vote" will be the first major test after the House of Lords introduced changes to the bill, trying to reshape the government's approach to Brexit by encouraging lawmakers to press for the closest possible ties.

"It was so positive it enabled quite a large number of my colleagues to vote to remove the Lords' amendments and substitute the Government's amendments".

The text needs to honor her pledge to pro-EU Tories that she'll take account of their concerns over the possibility of leaving the bloc without a deal.

May is resisting changes approved by the House of Lords that would soften Britain's exit from the European Union, because she says they will weaken the government's negotiating position.

To buy off a group of Tory rebels - whose ranks were boosted by the shock resignation of Justice Minister Phillip Lee Tuesday morning - the prime minister agreed in principle, according to the rebels, to write into law a new deadline in the Brexit talks: November 30, 2018.

These were the words of a minister expecting to win the vote.

"That term, Mr Speaker, is actually specifically defined in the Belfast Agreement and I've no doubt that government ministers will have read the Belfast Agreement in its entirety", she said.

Ministers and other lawmakers have been told to make sure they will be in parliament for the votes.

Britain is due to leave on March 29, 2019, and the bloc is frustrated with what it sees as a lack of firm proposals from the U.K about future relations.

Brexit protesters outside Parliament House. A paper laying out the U.K. government position, due to be published this month, has been delayed because the Cabinet can not agree on a united stance.

"This needs to be resolved", Andrew Bridgen, a pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker, told Reuters. The Daily Express thundered: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

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

"The people want us to leave the EU".

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