WATCH: Tory Brexit rebel Dominic Grieve admits MPs could ‘collapse the Government’ over Brexit bill

Posted On: 
17th June 2018

Pro-EU backbencher Dominic Grieve has admitted MPs could bring down the Government by voting against the final Brexit bill.

Dominic Grieve is among pro-EU rebels pushing for a greater role for parliament in any 'meaningful vote'
Credit: 
BBC

It comes as the former attorney-general made clear he would not accept the Government’s meaningful vote amendment on the Brexit bill this week, after he and his allies after deemed it “unacceptable”.

Mr Grieve has been pushing to ensure a meaningful vote hands parliament the right to direct the next steps if the deal is rejected by MPs.

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The Government proposals meanwhile would only give the House the right to debate a motion “in neutral terms” - making it impossible for MPs to make changes.

Mr Grieve today said the pledge given to him by the PM in a bid to buy off his support in amendments last week "had to be fulfilled" when the bill returns from the Lords on Wednesday.

“We could collapse the Government, and I assure you I wake up at 2am in a cold sweat thinking about the problems that we have put on our shoulders,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Politics.

“The difficulty is that the Brexit process is inherently risky, really risky. Risky to our economic wellbeing, to our international relationships and ultimately to our national security."

However, the former frontbencher said the alternative to a Commons say over the Brexit process was a “slavery clause” that bound MPs to taking action they may think would go against the country’s interest.

“Of course note will be taken of it in Brussels, but I can’t save the Government from getting into a situation where parliament might disagree with it," he said.

“The alternative is that we’ve all got to sign up to a slavery clause now, saying whatever the Government does, whenever it comes to January, however potentially catastrophic it might be for my constituents and for my country, I’m signing in blood now that I will follow over the edge of a cliff. And that I can tell you, I am not prepared to do."

The Government’s Solicitor-General, Robert Buckland, said on the same programme that the rebels’ amendment would hand the EU a “trump card” against Brexit Secretary David Davis, given there would then be a “third party” in the relationship.

“David Davis needs to be able to go out there and have a firm negotiating hand,” he said.

“My worry is about no matter how well intentioned Dominic’s amendment might be [...] it actually plays badly in the most important negotiation - which is over in Brussels”.