British PM wins key Brexit vote despite ongoing rebellion

Could This Be the Last Nail in Brexit’s Coffin?		    							
	
	
	
	
	
	
		       
								Author The Australian Tribune Editorial			
			17/07/2018

The amendment from former minister Stephen Hammond would have forced the United Kingdom to default to membership of the EU's customs union if it proved unable to negotiate a better agreement by January 21 of next year. Their mutiny came 24 hours after Mrs May caved in to hardline Tory Eurosceptics to back an amendment which critics says effectively kills off her compromise Brexit Chequers plan.

But despite speculation suggesting a potential setback for Mrs May, the trade bill amendment was defeated by 307 votes to 301.

Theresa May did, however, lose a key Brexit vote in the Commons for only the second time when MPs tonight voted in favour of remaining in the European medicines regulatory framework. In both votes, Brexit-supporting Labour MPs backed the government.

"Theresa May is in a more hard position than I was", he told ITV News, "facing more-committed and hard-line opponents - and more of them - than I had".

She also saw off an attempt by pro-European Union rebel members of her own party to keep Britain inside a customs union.

All had previously backed the medicine regulation amendment, except for Ms Hoey, who did not vote.

Shadow Scotland Secretary Lesley Laird said the fact that no Scottish Conservative MPs rebelled against the government meant "Ruth Davidson's pledge that her MPs would stand up for Scotland was nothing short of a lie".

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Theresa May's Brexit difficulties will continue as she faces a grilling by MPs about her plans for leaving the European Union.

Leading Tory Remainer Anna Soubry called for a government of national unity to deal with Brexit made up of Plaid Cymru, the SNP and "other sensible, pragmatic" MPs.

May's government on Monday avoided a humiliating defeat in Parliament when it narrowly won another vote over her Brexit customs bill - but only after reluctantly accepting amendments put forward by Brexit hardliners.

Sterling slid to 10-month lows against the dollar on Wednesday after data showed British inflation failed to rise as expected, a day after Brexit-linked political turmoil had sent the currency hurtling lower.

With Brussels expected to reject the government's proposals in the White Paper when Brexit talks resume next week, speculation is mounting that the United Kingdom could face a Brussels ultimatum to choose between a Norway-style deal inside the single market, or leave the European Union with no deal at all. Eight officials have quit since that summit, including two very high-profile Leave advocates, David Davis and Boris Johnson.

"We can't rely on anything", said Warren East, CEO of United Kingdom engine maker Rolls Royce, who said his firm could start stockpiling parts soon if it looked like Britain was heading toward a disorderly exit from the EU.

The motion passed by Vauxhall Momentum reads: "As Labour members who campaigned for Kate Hoey at the last General Election despite many of us disagreeing with her about Brexit, we are appalled at the way in which she is demonstrating that her personal views take priority over representing her constituents and our Party by voting to enable this rotten, inept Government to stay in office".

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