DUP to back Theresa May over Brexit amendments

Two days of debate on the laws that will end Britain's European Union membership have crystallised long-running divisions within May's party about the best strategy for leaving the European Union, bringing to a head issues that will determine the relationship between the world's fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading bloc.

In a concession, the government promised that lawmakers would have a say on what to do next if there is no agreement with the European Union, or if Parliament rejects the deal offered.

Both the U.K.'s and EU's proposals are supposed to be temporary and to act as an insurance policy until the two sides strike a long-term trade deal that maintains an invisible border.

After a debate with barnstorming speeches from Tory Remainers Ken Clarke, Anna Soubry and Phillip Lee the government was forced to accept it could be defeated.

MPs in the House of Commons will vote on a raft of amendments produced by the House of Lords, including one at around 3 p.m. GMT (8.30 p.m. IST) that would give parliament an effective veto over Brexit.

Despite many Conservative MPs who backed Remain in the referendum, just two rebelled against the government on a meaningful vote.

Amendment 19 was proposed by Douglas Hogg, former Tory cabinet minister, now life peer.

Believe me, in Westminster, there is a very very big difference between the promise of more serious chat about something with the possibility of a change - and a promise actually to do something different, especially if it is made by the occupant of Number 10.

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


"If it were to turn out there was a problem, we will deal with it".

The results could also deliver a further blow to Prime Minister Theresa May's authority, which was severely damaged when she.

"I trust the prime minister. It was the prime minister who I sat in front of this afternoon and who gave us those assurances". If some of its leave-supporting lawmakers choose to vote against the amendment, the government could avoid defeat altogether.

A dispute quickly arose about the third clause of Grieve's amendment, with Brexiters, including some ministers, quickly saying all that had been agreed was talks - and no government could agree to be "directed" by MPs.

May objected to the amendment - inserted by the House of Lords - because she said it would tie her hands in the negotiation. They stood down after the government promised to engage in talks on a compromise.

"It's a really interesting point - we had no time to discuss it".

Theresa May has averted an embarrassing defeat over the government's EU Withdrawal Bill by giving MPs a say on the next steps for Brexit if she fails to secure a withdrawal agreement by the end of November.

A junior British justice minister said on Tuesday he will resign and will vote with pro-European Union rebels who want parliament to have the power to force the government to go back to the negotiating table if they reject a Brexit deal.

In an earlier vote, MPs voted by 328 votes to 297 to disagree with another Lords amendment which was linked to changes to the day Britain leaves the EU.

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