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Opposition Fury as Jeff Smith and Labour supports Brexit

14 June 2018

The pro-European cause was boosted when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, a friend of May's, resigned shortly before the debate in order to back the veto amendment.

British Prime Minister Theresa May survived another key Brexit vote on Wednesday (Jun 14) but her pro-European MPs warned they could yet rebel if she backtracks on promises to give parliament a greater say in the final withdrawal deal.

On the second day of debate on changes to May's European Union withdrawal bill, lawmakers will vote on amendments from the upper house of parliament over Britain's relationship to the bloc's customs union and single market.

Mrs May narrowly avoided losing a major vote on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday by offering last-minute concessions to Tory MPs who fear the government could decide on its own to leave the bloc with no deal.

Pro-Brexit members of the government want to be able to play the "no deal" card, but the House of Commons, where pro-EU voices are stronger, would nearly certainly reject the idea.

In the same session, Boris Johnson was seen smirking after Mr Corbyn suggested Donald Trump could do a better job at negotiating Brexit than Theresa May.

However, the "backstop solution" is supposed to prevent a hard border from emerging on the island of Ireland no matter what happens.

Yet over the course of a few days, the Prime Minister has, apparently, turned things around.

With that in mind, May said she was planning to summon ministers to Chequers, her country residence, for an "away-day" aimed at ending months of squabbling and agreeing the contents of a so-called "white paper" policy document.

The Lords amendment, tabled by former Tory chairman Chris Patten, compels the Government to act in a way that is compatible with the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to the Troubles.

It has been two years since Britain voted to exit the European Union, and there are eight months until the U.K.is due to leave the bloc on March 29, 2019.

The Labour leader had ordered his MPs to abstain on a House of Lords amendment that demanded Britain's continued membership of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Brexit minister David Davis told parliament if it rejected the government's compromise on the "meaningful vote" and backed the House of Lords amendment: "What it actually amounts to is an unconstitutional shift which risks undermining our negotiation with the European Union".

Ms Cooper added she believes there is a majority across the country and Government in favour of a "close economic relationship", which means some version of single market participation - or as close as the United Kingdom can get to it. Yet how long will this unity last?

This is despite his constituency voting almost 80% to remain in the June 2017 referendum.

While these revelations don't immediately affect the British Prime Minister, they are likely to stiffen the resolve of the die-hard Remain supporters - including some Conservative MPs - who want the Brexit plans to be put to another referendum. And while May has managed to assert some authority inside her government and party, she remains weak in Brussels.

The government won the EEA/single market amendment with a majority of 201, and the customs union amendment with a majority of 28.

But while Wednesday's votes seemed assured, May was under pressure over a promised compromise to quell a rebellion on Tuesday over handing parliament more say over any Brexit deal, with pro-EU lawmakers threatening to withdraw their support.

Opposition Fury as Jeff Smith and Labour supports Brexit