Setting up new showdown, Britain's May rejects Brexit proposal

Theresa May said a trade border would be 'unacceptable'

Theresa May said a trade border would be 'unacceptable'

The rebel MPs had originally voted in line with the Government during the first Commons vote on the Lords' amendments after supposedly obtaining a compromise from the Prime Minister on the Government's own "meaningful vote" amendment.

May has struggled to get backing for her plans to cut ties with the European Union, forced to find a compromise last week with pro-EU lawmakers in her Conservative Party to try to get their backing for her Brexit blueprint, or the European Union withdrawal bill.

Grieve and a cohort of potential Conservative rebels with enough votes to defeat the government want parliament to have more influence over the next steps than ministers are prepared to give them.

Among the Tory peers who voted against the government were senior figures such as Michael Heseltine, Chris Patten and Sayeeda Warsi.

The new amendment, to be debated Wednesday, means ministers must update parliament by January 21 if there is no prospect of a deal with the European Union, and then have two weeks to return to the Commons with a statement on how the government plans to proceed.

The bill will now return to the Commons on Wednesday for what is expected to be a knife-edge vote that could determine the outcome of Brexit talks.

The amendment drawn by the United Kingdom government speaks of merely an advisory rather than a meaningful vote.

The Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat said MPs would be "looking for a new government" if the current one failed to deliver a Brexit deal that could pass the Commons.

Mr Grieve says these MPs "could collapse the government" over this issue, as he has "cold sweat" over what could happen if negotiations fail.

At last two other Tory backbenchers, former justice minister Phillip Lee and Heidi Allen, have publicly pledged their support to Mr Grieve. "If we have no deal at the end it is a very serious crisis", he said.

"To rule out "no deal" as an option completely, even as a theoretical negotiating objective, places the government in an impossible position", former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont told lawmakers.

Crucially, the motion will be unamendable, meaning MPs can not 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.

"The meaningful vote is nothing to do with holding the government to account", Jacob Rees-Mogg, who leads a grouping of Anti-EU Conservative lawmakers, said after a speech in central London.

The Prime Minister stated she has listened to the concerns of the rebel Tory MPs, but noted future legislation can not hamper the Government's ability to negotiate the final Brexit solution.

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