After reprieve, Britain's May faces Brexit battle in parliament on trade

Jul 17, 2018, 23:00
After reprieve, Britain's May faces Brexit battle in parliament on trade

May has repeatedly ruled out a second referendum after Britons voted by 52 per cent for Brexit in 2016, but Greening's support for a so-called People's Vote will give the campaign a huge boost.

Theresa May has seen off a damaging Commons rebellion as Tory remainers narrowly lost a long-awaited vote on the customs union - but earlier suffered her second ever Brexit defeat, on European medicines regulation.

Eurosceptics will have a chance to show their strength in the House of Commons later Monday by voting on amendments to a bill setting up May's new customs regime after Brexit.

But pro-European Tories have accused Mrs May of "caving in" to the party's Eurosceptic wing after the government agreed to their demands to change the wording of the Customs Bill, which is one of the key pieces of Brexit legislation.

However she insisted her plan offered the only workable solution to maintain "frictionless" trade with the European Union and avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic while allowing the United Kingdom to strike trade deals around the world.

A strong rebellion on the Conservative benches could lead to an embarrassing defeat for a Government now assailed on all sides over its plans for leaving the European Union.

They said the changes would greatly limit May's ability to move forward with the plan that prompted two hardliners in her Cabinet to resign in protest last week - and fresh resignations of lesser figures Monday.

May's spokesman said the leader would stand by her promise to leave such a customs union.

Former Education Secretary Justine Greening, also a Conservative, said the U.K. Parliament was "gridlocked" over the divisive issue.

Greening said she would campaign to keep Britain in the European Union, if a new referendum were held.

These make it extremely difficult for the United Kingdom to negotiate a viable solution for avoiding a hard border on the island on Ireland, where the EU's new external border should be after Brexit, and to which May committed to keeping it open. However, a further test lies ahead immediately when MPs debate a trade bill on Tuesday. Tomorrow is also the effective deadline for her internal critics to organise a vote of no confidence in her.

Commenting on the Electoral Commission report, Sarah Wollaston, a Conservative Party member and the chair of the Commons health committee and the Commons liaison committee, claimed that there was "deliberate cheating" in the Brexit referendum and it needed to be re-run, as The Guardian Reported. She said she and other senior Tory lawmakers favour a new vote.

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