May defeats final Brexit challenges
BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May defeated the final challenges to her Brexit blueprint in parliament on Wednesday, leaving plans for Britain’s departure from the European Union still largely on track but her authority weakened.
Lawmakers supported the government’s position to reject amendments to the EU withdrawal bill that challenged May’s commitment to leave the bloc’s customs union and single market, leaving the overall shape of her Brexit strategy intact that will transform Britain’s trading relationships for decades.
But it was a vote in parliament on Tuesday that left her seemingly at the mercy of two groups in the Conservative Party — those who want to maintain the closest possible ties with the EU, and others pressing for a clean break.
An agreement that defused a potential rebellion over handing parliament more control over Britain’s exit from the EU looked in danger of unraveling on Wednesday, when the two camps argued over a possible compromise on a “meaningful vote.”
There was little doubt the government would win on the customs union and single market, which some pro-EU lawmakers say is the only way for Britain to retain economically advantageous close ties with the bloc, with the opposition Labour Party also divided over future relations.