Theresa May heads off customs union vote rebellion with last-minute deal

12 Juin, 2018, 01:49 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

On Tuesday, an amendment to give parliament a decisive vote on the final Brexit deal will be discussed.

With the Conservatives having a majority of just 13 thanks to the support of the DUP, it would only take a handful of Tories to side with Labour and defeat the Government.

In what is likely to be a highly-charged appearance before the backbench 1922 Committee on Monday, the Prime Minister is expected to say that the way MPs vote will send a message.

The United Kingdom is now part of the European Union single market but if London leaves it after Brexit, Britain will have to negotiate new trade deals with its partners, including the United States.

The Brexit activist also suggested that voting against the Government's key legislation could undermine the work of British Brexit negotiators before the October deadline agreed to by both parties.

There are two amendments that could prove particularly tough for the government to overturn.

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Mr Brown said the customs union vote was "difficult for the Brexiteers", adding that Mrs May's proposal for a longer transition period "that would mean effectively that we were in the customs union until 2023" would mean Europe becoming the issue of the next general election.

The Government is now expected to table its own amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which has the backing of rebels including Nicky Morgan, the former education secretary.

After months of debating the detail of the legislation that will trigger United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union, the House of Commons will stage crucial votes on Tuesday and Wednesday that will decide her fate.

Pro-Remain Tories are considering whether to vote in favour of peers' changes to the bill on their demands for the government to stay open to negotiating a customs union with the EU, and on a call for a beefed-up "meaningful vote" for parliament on the final Brexit deal.

"This isn't about narrow party politics", she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Labour and Conservative MPs are bitterly split over Prime Minister Theresa May's desire to keep Britain in the European Economic Area.

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