May fights off fi­nal Brexit chal­lenges in Par­lia­ment

Otago Daily Times - - WORLD -

LON­DON: Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May de­feated the fi­nal chal­lenges to her Brexit blueprint in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day, leav­ing plans for Bri­tain’s de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union 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.

May had faced the prospect of los­ing the vote on the cus­toms union af­ter rebels in­di­cated their sup­port for a change in­tro­duced by the House of Lords to re­quire min­is­ters to re­port what ef­forts they had made to se­cure a cus­toms union.

A Gov­ern­ment pro­posal to in­stead re­port its ef­forts to se­cure a cus­toms ‘‘ar­range­ment’’ was enough to post­pone a more search­ing de­bate.

In the end, Par­lia­ment ac­cepted that pro­posal, vot­ing 325 to 298 to re­ject the House of Lords amend­ment.

It also voted, by 327 to 126, against re­main­ing in the Euro­pean Eco­nomic Area (EEA), which of­fers tar­iff­free ac­cess to the EU’s sin­gle mar­ket in re­turn for ac­cept­ing free move­ment of peo­ple, goods, ser­vices and cap­i­tal.

With not all rebels per­suaded May’s plan could pre­vent an eco­nomic shock af­ter Brexit, some said they would chal­lenge her plans to leave the cus­toms union again dur­ing votes on Bills on trade and cus­toms that will be be brought back to the House be­fore July 24.

The deep­est rifts were ex­posed in the Labour Party. Many of its pro­EU law­mak­ers went against their leader, Jeremy Cor­byn, by sup­port­ing the vote and not his amend­ment, which ar­gued for a new sin­gle mar­ket deal with the EU. It was lost 322 to 240. — Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.