Jeremy Corbyn 'in bed with Theresa May' over Brexit, Vince Cable says

Britain's Secretary of State for Education Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan

Dr Lee's shock departure came as Brexit Secretary David Davis warned potential Tory rebels that they can not undo the European Union referendum, ahead of a tricky 48 hours in which the Government will try to get its Brexit programme back on track. The prime minister still has time to come up with a form of words acceptable to both sides, but the expectations of the anti-Brexit rebels have been raised significantly.

He said that remaining in the EEA, which includes membership of the single market, was not a flawless solution.

After days of frantic lobbying by Conservative officials to try to get the party on board, May renewed appeals for unity over the "meaningful vote", after the government appeared to have secured a compromise to stop a similar rebellion on Wednesday over Britain's trading ties with the EU.

To buy off a group of Tory rebels - whose ranks were boosted by the shock resignation of Justice Minister Phillip Lee Tuesday morning - the prime minister agreed in principle, according to the rebels, to write into law a new deadline in the Brexit talks: November 30, 2018.

Brexit, the withdrawal the United Kingdom from the European Union, was decided by referendum in June 2016. Although, as things stand, they will not be able to send the government back into negotiations if they reject an agreement with the EU.

But in unusual scenes, ministers were forced to offer a last-minute compromise to pro-European MPs, negotiated in part in huddles in the chamber as the debate raged.

During Commons exchanges, supporters of the EEA said it would be an economic "lifeboat" for the United Kingdom after Brexit by reducing the disruption to business.

In a day of drama, May's position seemed suddenly weaker when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of the government's Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.

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The amendment, which would push the government towards adopting a Norway-style deal with Brussels, was voted down by 327 votes to 126, a majority of 201.

"We are asking members of parliament to abide by the referendum result, our manifesto commitment and to back our country", Andrew Bridgen, Conservative lawmaker and Brexit campaigner, told Reuters.

Five Labour MPs have resigned from frontbench roles in a blow to Jeremy Corbyn over a key Brexit vote, the Labour party has announced.

Prior to the vote, Labour's staunch pro-EU MPs - such as Chuka Umunna and Owen Smith - pleaded with the leadership to embrace the Norway option, as they believe it's the best chance retain full access to the single market.

The formal separation is to happen in March 2019.

It has been clear for a while that the now ex-minister, one of the rising generation in the Tory party, has been frustrated for some time.

May, who leads a minority government propped up by the small Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), conceded that "we need parliamentary support" to implement Brexit.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer commented: "This vote was about ensuring parliament was given a proper role in the Brexit negotiations and that we avoid a no deal situation, which is becoming more likely with the divisions at the heart of this government".

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