Brexit tensions as Tory rebels back a second referendum

Theresa May

Theresa May is facing the possibility of another Commons defeat after attempting to bring forward MPs' summer holidays in the middle of the latest Brexit political crisis.

He also warned pro-European Tories against "refighting the referendum".

The government won the vote on the tariffs amendment with a narrow majority of three lawmakers.

He's the 10th member of May's government to stand down in protest since she finalized her Brexit plan, but the first to do so in the cause of a softer split from the EU.

Doing so would lessen the chance of a vote of no confidence by Tories against the prime minister, something Brexiteers continue to threaten following the resignation of foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis last week.

The idea of a referendum sequel has always been popular among Remainers - those who voted to stay in the European Union - who believe that the campaign around Brexit was infused with lies and propaganda, and that Leavers, their opponents, never had a coherent plan for withdrawal.

Some 14 Tory rebels voted against the Government-backed Tory Eurosceptic new clause 36, which prevents the United Kingdom collecting tariffs on behalf of the European Union unless the European Union agrees to collect them for the UK.

The EU has called for a border in the middle of the Irish Sea to avoid the setting up of a hard land border between the Irish Republic and Norther Ireland, which is part of the UK.

Another amendment, to ensure the United Kingdom is out of the EU's Value-Added Tax regime, was backed by 303 to 300, with a Tory rebellion of 11. On Monday, May managed to narrowly win by three votes, relying on the votes of some anti-EU Labour MPs.

Monday night showed just how hard it is for May to plot a course between pro- and anti-Brexit lawmakers in her party.

That's the question everyone in Westminster is asking this morning as the key piece of Brexit legislation returns to the Commons for its remaining stages before going to the Lords.

The hardliner amendments of several dozen MPs from the European Research Group led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, basically kill off all of May's proposals in the white paper that meant to create workable solutions for both the United Kingdom and the EU.

May denied a suggestion in parliament that her Brexit plan was dead, and her spokesman said the decision to accept those amendments were "consistent" with the white paper policy document ministers agreed earlier this month.

Theresa May explaining her Chequers deal.

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.

"As far as I could see the amendment looked like a bit of a cut and paste from the white paper". "What they have said in those private conversations is that the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs will be worth it to regain our country's sovereignty", she said.

"I do not understand why people thinks this lacks democratic legitimacy. It is very clear where it comes from". If opposition parties join them, May would have a major crisis on her hands.

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