United Kingdom justice minister resigns over Brexit ahead of key votes

A casket team carries the remains of U.S. Army Cpl. Robert E. Meyers a Korean War soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in 2015. Meyers' remains were identified decades after his unit was involved in combat operations near Sonchu North Korea

"The people, economy and culture of my constituency will be affected negatively" by Britain's European Union departure and it is "irresponsible to proceed as we are", Lee said.

I am concerned obviously because amendment 19 from the House of Lords was defeated yesterday and any derivative of it is an unashamed wrecking motion to Brexit.

He also called for the Government's final proposals to be put to the public in a second referendum.

The government says the changes would weaken Britain's negotiating position, and is seeking to alter or reverse them in the Commons.

This change sought to give greater powers to the "sifting committee", which would be established to decide whether recommendations proposed by ministers to amend retained European Union law after Brexit would require a Commons vote.

Lee's resignation came as May's fragile minority government scrambled to shore up support among lawmakers before two days of debate and votes in the House of Commons on its flagship Brexit bill.

Peers defeated the government on 15 issues, introducing amendments on issues ranging from future United Kingdom membership of the customs union and European Economic Area (EEA) to ministers' use of "Henry VIII" powers to force through changes without parliamentary scrutiny and the questions of whether MPs should get a "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal.

The Bill will return to the Lords on June 18, kicking off a process of "parliamentary ping-pong" which sees it bounce from House to House until agreement is reached.

Today the government avoided an embarrassing defeat on a key Brexit vote by offering concessions to Remainer Tory MPs.

"We are asking members of parliament to abide by the referendum result, our manifesto commitment and to back our country", Andrew Bridgen, Conservative lawmaker and Brexit campaigner, told Reuters.

"But if the Lords amendments are allowed to stand, that negotiating position will be undermined".

One of the key points of difference between the Prime Minister and the rebels is a Lords amendment which states the Government must seek to negotiate a customs union with the EU.

Pro-Brexit tabloid the Sun warned lawmakers on Tuesday's front page that they had a choice: "Great Britain or great betrayal".

It featured a British flag and the headline: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril".

Phillip Lee, who resigned this morning, gave an impassioned speech from the "naughty corner" on the backbenches - flanked by Remainers including Bob Neill, Nicky Morgan, receiving congratulations for his decision by Soubry and Sarah Wollaston.

Fellow MP Antoinette Sandbach rejected suggestions by leading Brexiteers in her party that this would tie the prime minister's hands in negotiations. But May is facing a potential rebellion from some Conservative lawmakers who want to retain close ties with the bloc after the United Kingdom leaves in March 2019.

Opening the debate, Brexit Secretary David Davis insisted the government would abide by three principles to defend the will of the British people.

May's divided cabinet has yet to settle on what sort of customs deal Britain should have with the European Union - an issue of crucial importance to businesses with cross-border supply chains, and the land border between European Union member state Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

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