United Kingdom government fails to satisfy Tory rebels on Brexit amendment

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Theresa May arrives in Brussels
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Reuters

The statute sought by Mr Grieve would undergo full parliamentary scrutiny - meaning it could be rewritten by MPs.

Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, has vowed to push ahead tonight with his amendment, which would enshrine the promise of a "meaningful vote'" on the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The Labour Party is set to back Grieve and the other Tory Rebels on this, having implored them to not be convinced by "warm words and woolly concessions".

Dominic Grieve said a written ministerial statement laid before the House of Commons did not address his concerns or explain why his amendment - which would put government under a legal obligation to give MPs a vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement - could not be accepted.

"As now drafted, what the amendment says is that we shouldn't put any of those statutory instruments into place until the withdrawal agreement and implementation bill has reached the statute book", May told parliament.

The amendment, which is likely to be backed by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP), will be debated later on Wednesday. "Our entire approach to this Bill has been to listen to MPs".

May's government is trying to pass a bill through parliament that will repeal 1972 legislation binding Britain to the European Union and copy existing European Union law into domestic law to ensure legal continuity after "Exit Day" on March 29, 2019.

Mr Davis also penned a last-gasp letter to Tory MPs early on Wednesday morning as ministers battle to avoid a defeat. He told BBC Radio 4's the World At One: "I think there are quite a few who may support me - I think enough, if this comes to a vote, to defeat the Government".

The Prime Minister reassured MPs they would ultimately be able to cast a vote on the terms of the Brexit deal agreed with Brussels.

Grieve, who campaigned for Remain in the referendum, denied his amendment, which would require any final deal with the European Union to be approved by a separate act of Parliament before it could be implemented, was created to prevent Brexit happening.

But, speaking hours before a possible vote, Theresa May rejected an offer to accept the amendment "in the spirit of unity".

"All members of parliament who believe in parliamentary sovereignty have got to vote for Amendment 7 tonight".

Brexiteers were also delighted, with Iain Duncan Smith welcoming "an improved agreement". The Brexiteer also suggested rebels are looking to "derail" the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The row revolves around Clause 9 of the bill, which hands the government "Henry VIII powers" to implement the Brexit deal without parliamentary approval.

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