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Theresa May thrown into fresh crisis as Tory rebels reject Brexit peace deal

Theresa May thrown into fresh crisis as Tory rebels reject Brexit peace deal
4 min read

Theresa May has been thrown into a fresh leadership crisis after rebel Tory MPs rejected her attempts to reach a peace deal on her Brexit plans.

In a dramatic development, pro-EU Conservative backbenchers branded as "unacceptable" a government amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill on giving Parliament a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal.

They claimed Number 10 had changed the wording of the amendment at the last minute after they had signed it off.

The rebels, led by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, want MPs to be able to step in to prevent a no deal Brexit - a move bitterly opposed by Leave-backing Tories.

Following a day of tense talks between the Prime Minister and the rebels, Downing Street finally published an amendment designed to find common ground between both wings of her warring party.








But within minutes Mr Grieve had rejected the amendment, which contained a clause making any motion tabled by the Government in the event of a no deal Brexit unamendable".

Mr Grieve's own amendment will now be voted on by the House of Lords next week - and almost certainly return to the Commons in a week's time for what promises to be another huge showdown between Mrs May and her own backbenches.

The senior Tory told PoliticsHome: "The matter is not resolved and will have to be debated again next week."

He told the BBC: "It is unacceptable. At the end of the process something was inexplicably changed, which had not been agreed. The Government has made the motion unamendable, contrary to the usual methods of the House of Commons and therefore it cannot be accepted."

Fellow rebel Anna Soubry - who had earlier claimed a deal was done - made clear her anger at the Prime Minister on Twitter.


Speaking to BBC News, she said: “The appalling thing is that nobody actually spoke to Dominic Grieve before they tabled that amendment at 5 o’clock this evening. I think that is unforgivable. You don’t behave like this. And I am very very disappointed.”

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said: "The Government’s amendment is simply not good enough. Theresa May has gone back on her word and offered an amendment that takes the meaning out of the meaningful vote. Parliament cannot - and should not - accept it."

Labour MP Virendra Sharma, of the pro-EU Best For Britain campaign, said: "The amendment today delivers a meaningless vote. It's not worth the paper it's written on and wouldn't make it past the Trade Descriptions Act.

"Theresa May made a big song and dance about healing divisions, but she's tearing Parliament, her party and the country apart with acts of deceit like this.

"Whatever your leaning, this is a democratic outrage. The country wants to see some kind of resolution on Brexit, not a weak government using their usual tactic of kicking all tough decisions into the long grass. 

"It just goes to show the arrogance of those forcing Brexit through. It's time for the people to take back control of this through a people's vote with the option to remain." 

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