Tory rebels table Brexit bill compromise as Theresa May braced for fresh Lords defeat

Posted On: 
18th June 2018

Tory rebels have tabled a fresh compromise amendment to the Government's flagship Brexit bill as Theresa May heads for yet another House of Lords defeat.

Dominic Greive is leading the Tory rebellion on the EU Withdrawal Bill.
PA Images

Conservative peer Viscount Hailsham laid down the proposed re-wording of the EU Withdrawal Bill following discussions with chief rebel Dominic Grieve.

Supporters say the new amendment - which would give Parliament the power to take control of the Brexit process if no deal is reached by next January - reflects the agreement they struck with Theresa May last week, but which she ditched at the last minute after protests from Brexiteers.

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Peers are expected to pass the amendment this afternoon, teeing up a crunch vote when the legislation returns to the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a Conservative frontbencher has accused Mr Grieve, who served as attorney general in David Cameron's government, of trying to stop Brexit from happening.

Anne Marie Trevelyan, who is a ministerial aide to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, told the BBC's Daily Politics: "I’m starting to feel distinctly uncomfortable about the way he’s trying to push this right to the limit.

"I’m very relaxed about people having different views and freedom of speech is one of the most important things to me, and sharing anxieties, but the way its pushing, the Hailsham amendment’s gone in again today, so not accepting what the Government is proposing, in what they put with the Lords last week, is just pushing it further and further away from giving the Prime Minister the ability to negotiate a good deal for us out of the EU."

Asked if Mr Grieve was trying to "stop Brexit", the Leave-backing MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed said: "It’s starting to feel a bit like that, yes."

She added: "There becomes a point where as a member of Parliament who seemingly, and he always said he never wanted to tie the hands of the Government, having said that he appears to be going against his own word and I think there comes a point where he has to say 'I think the Prime Minister needs the right tools to get us out of the EU, because that’s what we agreed we would do'."