United Kingdom justice minister resigns over Brexit ahead of key votes

Heidi Alexander

"The government can not demonstrate the flexibility necessary for a successful deal if its hands are tied midway through that process".

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer commented: "This vote was about ensuring parliament was given a proper role in the Brexit negotiations and that we avoid a no deal situation, which is becoming more likely with the divisions at the heart of this government".

Members of Parliament decided by 324 votes to 298 - a majority of 26 - to reject a House of Lords amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill. The strained parliament session underlined deep divisions over Britain's European Union exit.

May's government is divided between Brexit-backing ministers such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who support a clean break with the European Union, and those such as Treasury chief Philip Hammond who want to keep closely aligned to the bloc, Britain's biggest trading partner.

Just hours before the vote, the pressure on Ms. Philip Lee said a choice between "bad and worse" options was not giving MPs a meaningful vote.

Some lawmakers tried to shout him down and accused the government of wanting too much power.

Remain-supporting Conservative MPs had threatened to back an amendment to the bill which would have given parliament a more widespread veto.

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".

The votes of opposition lawmakers will also be important.

He said a concession of this kind would been "revolutionary" as the Commons can not override the government when it came to negotiating worldwide treaties.

She has already agreed to give MPs a vote on the final Brexit deal, but says it will be a yes or no decision - meaning that rejecting it could see Britain crash out of the EU.

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.

While promising "further discussions", he said he was concerned that empowering Parliament to "instruct" ministers what to do in the event of no deal would leave the United Kingdom in "very rocky constitutional territory". Theresa May has said no British government would ever agree to a hard border there.

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.

"It has got to be done in good faith, because without that, we will face a situation where in fact, firstly, the other place will put it back in and secondly the goodwill will be gone when it comes back to this house", leading rebel Dominic Grieve told lawmakers.

Prior to the votes, the government suffered its first ministerial resignation over Brexit as Phillip Lee quit the Ministry of Justice so he could speak out freely.

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 results could also deliver a further blow to Prime Minister Theresa May's authority, which was severely damaged when she.

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