Second win for British PM in crucial Brexit debate

MPs force major soft Brexit shift

A super soft Brexit - or no Brexit at all - just got more likely.

And around 15-20 pro-EU Tories are understood to have received assurances in a face-to-face discussion with the Prime Minister in her Commons office ahead of the vote.

Bruce Crawford, the convener of Holyrood's Constitution Committee, has now called for the Scottish Secretary to come before MSPs "as a matter of urgency" in the wake of Tuesday's vote in the commons. That has potentially seismic consequences for the protracted and increasingly messy split from Brussels.

It meant that the United Kingdom government successfully defeated the Lords amendment, 324 to 298, to the dismay of Labour and other opposition parties.

"There are people in this palace, your palace, who are attempting to do everything in their power to overturn that decision and to create a meaningless, toothless, neutered Brexit".

Conservative lawmaker Phillip Lee resigned as a justice minister Tuesday so he could speak out against the policy on Brexit.

Mr Grieve confirmed he voted with the UK Government after receiving assurances, telling Sky News: "I am quite satisfied we are going to get a meaningful vote". The Lords' amendment, which MPs rejected, went further in requiring the withdrawal agreement to be placed on a statutory footing.

The government last night gave into rebel demands to hand MPs an effective veto on May's Brexit deal.

Asked by an opposition deputy if it would be possible for the European Union to extend the March 31, 2019 deadline for Britain to leave, Varadkar said it would be possible with the unanimous agreement of the remaining 27 EU members.

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The British government said its plan would only apply in "specific and narrow circumstances", and delivers on a commitment made in December to avoid a hard border.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May hosts a round table meeting on technology at 10 Downing Street in London, June 13, 2018. The Lords have proposed amendments to the Bill and now it's up to the Commons to decide which, if any, changes they'll accept.

So - if and when the UK government finally reaches agreement on what it desires as the future EU-UK relationship - the warning from Brussels is this: pay attention to the Irish border; whatever else is agreed it could still bring the whole Brexit deal crashing down.

The European Economic Area amendment seeks to keep Britain in the European single market via membership of the EEA after it has left the EU - also known as the Norway model.

The government is resisting the changes, which are aimed at softening the terms of the U.K.'s exit from the European Union.

But while ministers must be accountable to lawmakers, she told MPs that "the government's hand in negotiations can not be tied by Parliament". The government earlier had said it would not support that amendment. This is where Conservative rebels like Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry and Ken Clark are expected to make their biggest move on customs.

One government official said: "It's not over yet".

Perhaps the most significant compromise from Mrs May was on what happens if there's no deal. Then her foreign minister, Boris Johnson, was recorded saying there could be a Brexit meltdown.

This interpretation was also endorsed by Labour's Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer. "We will wait and see the details of this concession and will hold ministers to account to ensure it lives up to the promises they have made to parliament".

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