May faces down pro-EU insurgent lawmakers to win Brexit vote

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May received an important Brexit vote in parliament on Wednesday, preserving her divided government’s plans to finish greater than 40 years of British partnership with the European Union on monitor.

Pro-remain supporters wave EU flags outdoors the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

After pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve mentioned he would assist the government’s proposal for a “meaningful vote” in parliament on Britain’s exit, a possible riot that might have undermined May’s authority was averted.

May adopted a high-risk technique by going through off with rebels in her Conservative Party, and it paid off. The higher home of parliament later accepted the invoice, paving the best way for it to turn into regulation after gaining formal “Royal Assent” from the Queen.

But the battle over her Brexit blueprint, or EU withdrawal invoice, could also be a style of issues to come. May must get a number of different payments by way of parliament to organize Britain for all times outdoors the EU, a momentous change to its buying and selling and political relationships after a long time within the bloc.

Some of her opponents on Brexit might merely have determined to maintain their powder dry for later fights on points equivalent to future buying and selling ties and customs preparations with the bloc earlier than Britain’s scheduled departure in March subsequent 12 months.

Six Conservatives nonetheless voted in opposition to the government. But for now, May shall be relieved to have overcome one other potential disaster over her proposal for the position of parliament, ought to she fail to barter an exit settlement with the EU or if lawmakers reject any deal she returns with from Brussels.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

“There was a great point of principle here, which was that the government has to be able to be free to negotiate and we have to be able to hold out in our negotiations the prospect of no deal, otherwise all the advantage would have been with the EU side,” commerce minister Liam Fox informed the BBC.

Other Conservatives agreed. “It strengthens our hand,” mentioned one, whereas opposition lawmakers described the vote as disappointing.

Sterling rose to a session excessive in opposition to the euro and climbed in opposition to the greenback after May received the uncommon victory, one which is able to give the weakened prime minister a firmer footing when she travels to Brussels subsequent week for an EU summit.

Talks with the bloc have all however stalled, with May’s high group of ministers at odds over plans for future buying and selling relations with the EU, which companies complain makes them unable to plan their funding selections.

Police outriders accompany the British Prime Minister Theresa May’s official automobile because it arrives on the House of Parliament in London, Britain, June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls


Before his about-turn, Grieve had argued that government guarantees didn’t hand parliament sufficient management to forestall the “chaos” that might comply with Britain crashing out of the EU with out a deal.

Grieve appeared to have received over a number of fellow Conservatives however after days of lobbying by social gathering officers, he appeared to have put his considerations apart.

Grieve informed the House of Commons he now noticed the necessity to take account of May’s considerations over the state of the negotiations. He additionally mentioned he had been reassured by an announcement saying it was as much as the parliamentary speaker to grant lawmakers larger affect over ministers within the event of no deal.

“And in the circumstances that might follow a no deal, which would undoubtedly be one of the biggest political crises in modern British history, if the house wishes to speak … the house has the power to do it,” Grieve mentioned.

With his phrases, May was capable of get pleasure from victory in a parliament that’s stacked in opposition to her since she lost her majority at an ill-judged election final 12 months.

But companies are nonetheless searching for extra certainty. “My biggest worry about Brexit is that I don’t know what we are planning for,” Juergen Maier, the UK CEO of German engineering big Siemens informed Reuters in an interview.

“We need to put something in place quickly that works and if that is not possible, and until that point, then we have to just default to staying in the customs union.”

Additional reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Kevin Liffey and David Stamp

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