After compromise, May set to avoid defeat in parliament on customs

After compromise, May set to avoid defeat in parliament on customs

Ms Cooper added she believes there is a majority across the country and Government in favour of a "close economic relationship", which means some version of single market participation - or as close as the United Kingdom can get to it.

However, her concession to "seek to negotiate" a "customs arrangement" with the European Union was enough to placate Conservative MPs who were threatening to rebel.

Or perhaps, this is in fact the completely predictable agony of split political parties, with leaders who struggle to command their troops, just trying to make it through after a huge vote that by its very nature, split the country in two.

Mr Mann said: "The final vote - if it is a final vote because if there is no deal it probably won't be the final vote - has meaning because then it binds Government".

Last night Mrs May delivered a direct warning to backbench Tory MPs that any defeats would encourage Brussels to turn the screw.

MPs overturned six further amendments inserted into key legislation by peers.

May's government is divided between Brexit-backing ministers such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who support a clean break with the European Union, and those such as Treasury chief Philip Hammond who want to keep closely aligned to the bloc, Britain's biggest trading partner. First, the text needs to honour her pledge to pro-EU Tories that she'll take account of their concerns about the possibility of leaving the bloc without a deal and give Parliament more say over the process. They aim to conclude a deal in October so that the British and European parliaments have enough time to scrutinize and ratify the agreement. The Scottish National Party described the timings as "totally laughable".

Lord Hailsham - the former Tory cabinet minister Douglas Hogg - is poised to table his amendment, strengthening the hand of parliament in the event that Brexit talks break down, if Commons rebel leader Dominic Grieve is not satisfied with the compromise offered by the government.

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However, May is anxious about the prospect of a rebellion by pro-EU Conservative MPs who are determined to retain as numerous changes as possible. "Partnership, love dance - don't care what you call it".

Laura Smith, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, was among 15 Labour MPs who voted with Theresa May to reject the EEA amendment.

Brexiteers complained that Dr Lee was actually defying his own constituents - who voted 53-47 per cent to Leave in the referendum.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said the government remained "open-minded", but this may or may not result in it coming forward with new proposals in the coming days.

Here's a look at which amendments matter most for the direction of Brexit. Reneging on the promise could have disastrous consequences for the government. The strength of this commitment is yet to be seen in writing - and the Brexit department is still insisting it has not given up control of the negotiations - but the anti-Brexit rebels showed they have the numbers to force a defeat should the government renege on its pledge. There are two reasons for that: the determination to keep pressure on the decide what it wants; and the long list of other problems that European Union leaders know they might have to deal with next year, including the ongoing fight with President Donald Trump over trade and the rise in populism in the region.

90 Labour MPs rebel against Jeremy Corbyn in the vote on the EEA/single market, while 6 resigned from senior positions immediately before the vote.

In a statement, Corbyn defended his decision to oppose the EEA vote, despite telling his MPs to abstain in parliament. As my colleague Simon Usherwood has pointed out, in the low trust environment of Brexit politics, no one trusts anyone anymore.

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