Peers are poised to launch a fresh match of parliamentary “ping pong” and send more amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill back to the Commons – which the prime minister has said would tie her hands in negotiations with Brussels.
Tory rebel MPs want a ‘meaningful vote’ on the Brexit deal, giving Parliament the power to send Theresa May back to the negotiation table if they don’t like the agreement.
This would stop the Government leaving Europe with no deal, but Brexiteers say this weakens Britain’s hand in negotiations.
Tensions reached boiling point over the weekend when Brexit Tory ringleader Dominic Grieve warned Tory rebel MPs could lead the “collapse” of the Government if they disagree with the final outcome of withdrawal talks.
Mr Grieve insisted rebels would only accept a “meaningful vote” and not the “slavery clause” Mrs May had offered in last minute concessions last week.
He said MPs had the right to a proper say on Brexit.
Theresa May faced off a potential rebellion by pro-Remain Tory MPs minutes before a crunch vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill last Tuesday.
She appeared to accept an amendment tabled by Mr Grieve which demanded measures be put in place to give Parliament a meaningful vote if negotiations with the EU break down.
However, furious rebels claimed the Government had altered the wording of the amendment at the last minute to deny MPs any chance of blocking a “no deal” Brexit.
Mrs May has denied she had broken any promises made to Remain rebels after they reacted with fury last week over a late alteration to the EU Withdrawal Bill.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show over the weekend, the Prime Minister insisted she would not allow Parliament to block the Government from negotiating the best possible deal for Britain.
But the Government is heading for a defeat this afternoon, which will spark another showdown in the Commons on Wednesday, when Lord Hailsham, former Tory Cabinet Minister Douglas Hogg, re-tables Mr Grieve’s original amendment giving parliament the power to take control of the Brexit process if MPs do not accept the final deal.
Under Government plans, if MPs reject the agreement reached by Mrs May with Brussels, or if no deal has been obtained by January 21, Parliament will be offered the opportunity only to vote on a “neutral motion” stating that it has considered a minister’s statement on the issue.
Crucially, the motion will be unamendable, meaning that MPs cannot insert a requirement for Mrs May to go back to the negotiating table, extend the Brexit transition or revoke the UK’s withdrawal under Article 50.
Expected Lords amendments to the landmark Brexit legislation are set to return to the Commons on Wednesday.
Follow Express.co.uk for live updates below…
11am: Viscount Hailsham, the former Conservative cabinet minister Douglas Hogg, had already tabled Dominic Grieve’s original compromise amendment which he attempted, but failed, to get debated in the Commons last week.
That Grieve amendment had the controversial “clause C” which Brexiters and ministers objected to; it said that if there is no prospect of a Brexit deal by February 15, then within five days the government must consult parliament “and must follow any direction in relation to negotiations.”
10am: Frank Field, the former Labour minister, has been allocated Commons time to introduce a bill which would scrap the House of Lords and replace it with a hybrid senate of experts and elected representatives from across the country.
Mr Field says an attempt by peers to “defy” the Commons by reinstating a series of amendments rejected by MPs, would amount to an “act of insurrection”.
The MP, who supported the pro-Brexit campaign, said he would be seeking the Government’s support for the move “in readiness” for peers preventing “good passage of the Bill implementing the referendum decision.”