British prime minister survives another key Brexit vote
British Prime Minister Theresa May has survived another key Brexit vote but faces pressure from Conservative MPs over giving the parliament a greater say in the final deal to leave the European Union.
The House of Commons voted 325 to 298 on Wednesday to reject the proposed amendment by the House of Lords to the to the EU Withdrawal Bill that will sever legal ties with the EU.
However, May’s pro-European lawmakers warned that they could yet rebel if she backtracks on promises to give parliament a greater say in the final withdrawal deal.
It was the second win for May after she persuaded rebels in her Conservative party to reject the Lords amendment.
May defused a rebellion in the parliament on Tuesday over her Brexit plans after she was forced to compromise and hand lawmakers greater control over Britain’s exit from the EU.
Before the vote, May held talks with more than 14 Tory rebels in her Commons office that lasted 11 hours, giving them personal assurances that she would agree to the broad thrust of their proposals.
The proposed amendment would have allowed the parliament to block the government from leaving the EU with no deal. Downing Street said it will publish a compromise amendment on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Brexit campaigners are still concerned that the concession may enable the EU to force Britain into retaining the closest possible ties with the bloc by weakening the government’s hand in the talks.
Pro-EU lawmakers, however, described it as a signal that the government was moving towards ruling out a hardline “no deal” Brexit.
A Brexit department spokesman said Tuesday, “We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the government’s hands in the negotiation.”
The British government has faced fierce criticism both at home and by the EU for its lack of clarity on its Brexit strategy.