Final vote for MPs on Brexit pledged by prime minister
Politics: May urges pro-EU rebels not to block bill
Theresa May has said that parliament cannot be allowed to “overturn the will of the British people” on Brexit.
The prime minister was speaking as she confirmed that the government will table a new amendment to her EU Withdrawal Bill, setting out in more detail the terms of the “meaningful vote” promised to MPs on the final Brexit deal.
Mrs May saw off a threatened defeat on the issue in the Commons on Tuesday by assuring would-be rebels personally that she would take their concerns on board.
But pro-EU Tories remain ready to rebel if their demands are not satisfied by the compromise amendment, expected to be tabled today.
Speaking at prime minister’s questions in the Commons, Mrs May said: “We have seen concerns raised about the role of parliament in relation to the Brexit process.
“What I agreed yesterday is that as the bill goes back to the Lords we would have further discussions with colleagues over those concerns.”
Mrs May said her approach would be guided by the principle that “the government’s hand in negotiations cannot be tied by parliament, but we need to be accountable to parliament”.
M r s M a y w a s responding to a question from Conservative archBrexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, who said it was vital that any amendment preserved the separation between the roles of government and parliament.
Potential Tory rebels held back from a threatened revolt on Tuesday after a face-to-face meeting in which the prime minister was said to have offer “personal assurances” on concessions.
Minutes later, all but two of the Tory MPs voted with the government to reject a Lords amendment that would have given parliament the power to tell the PM to go back and renegotiate the Brexit deal.
And senior pro-EU Tory Dominic Grieve withdrew his own amendment, which would have given MPs powers to dictate what the government should do if no acceptable agreement is reached by February 2019.
Downing Street was tight-lipped on the details of the proposed amendment, which was the subject of behindthe-scenes discussions yesterday.
Mr Grieve warned that if the government failed to offer an adequate compromise, it would not be “the end of the matter”.
No government would survive if it tried to dispense with parliament’s input, he said.
“Further discussions with colleagues over those concerns”