Theresa May: We’re on course to deliver Brexit despite vote

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Media captionMay: We’ve won 35 out of 36 votes

Theresa May has said the UK can be “on course to deliver on Brexit” as she arrived in Brussels, the day after her first Commons defeat as prime minister.

She said she was “disappointed” at the vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill, nevertheless the legislation was doing “Great progress”.

MPs backed an amendment giving them a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels.

EU leaders are required to formally agree to start the next phase of negotiations on Friday.

The European Commission has said “sufficient progress” has been made on the first phase to move onto discussing the framework of a future relationship between the EU and also also also UK – on issues such as security and also also also trade.

Mrs May, who can be having dinner with different EU leaders on Thursday, told reporters she might be talking about “the ambitious and also also also deep and also also also special partnership” she wanted to build between the UK and also also also EU, after Brexit.

“I’m disappointed with the amendment nevertheless actually the EU Withdrawal Bill can be doing Great progress through the House of Commons and also also also we are on course to deliver Brexit,” said Mrs May.

Asked whether she felt she might have to compromise more to win over rebels by her own party, she told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg: “We’ve actually had 36 votes on the EU Withdrawal Bill, and also also also we’ve won 35 of those votes with an average majority of 22.”

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Mrs May lost by just four votes, as MPs backed an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill by 309 to 305.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the item as a “humiliating loss of authority” for the PM and also also also warned which his party might vote against another bit of the bill – the plan to put a fixed Brexit date into law.

He said setting an “arbitrary date” was not sensible and also also also there “should be some flexibility”.

What difference does which defeat make?

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Media captionBrexit can be unstoppable and also also also MPs will not block the item, says Boris Johnson

the item will not derail Brexit nevertheless MPs who voted against the government wish the item will give them a bigger say from the final deal Theresa May strikes with Brussels.

BBC Brussels reporter Adam Fleming said which as different EU leaders also run minority or coalition governments they might see the vote defeat as a modest-scale domestic political issue.

The government had promised a “meaningful vote” for MPs on the final Brexit deal, nevertheless which defeat means which promise currently has legal force and also also also must happen before any UK-EU deal can be implemented from the UK.

Ministers had wanted to be able to start implementing any deal as soon as the item was agreed – in case, for instance, the item was only agreed at the last minute.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the item might embolden the opposition and also also also showed there was a majority in Parliament against a “hard Brexit”.

Cabinet Minister Jeremy Hunt told the BBC the vote was “not going to stop Brexit”.

How the government was defeated

Labour joined forces with the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and also also also the Green Party in a cross-party alliance.

If all Conservative and also also also DUP MPs had voted against the amendment the government might have won. nevertheless 11 Conservatives resisted the arm-twisting by their party managers to vote with the opposition.

The Tory rebels were Dominic Grieve, Heidi Allen, Ken Clarke, Jonathan Djanogly, Stephen Hammond, Sir Oliver Heald, Nicky Morgan, Bob Neill, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry and also also also Sarah Wollaston. Another Conservative MP, John Stevenson, officially abstained by voting for and also also also against the amendment.

Two Eurosceptic Labour MPs – Frank Field and also also also Kate Hoey – voted with the Conservatives and also also also the DUP.

The mood among Tory MPs

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Media caption“I’m in parliament to do my duty by my constituents and also also also by my country” said Tory rebel Dominic Grieve

Emotions ran high before, during and also also also after Wednesday’s Commons debate, with Eurosceptic Conservatives accusing the rebels of trying to “frustrate” Brexit.

In dramatic scenes, the rebels shouted “too late” as Justice Minister Dominic Raab announced a concession shortly before voting began and also also also Tory whips could be seen attempting to twist the arm of MPs thinking of voting against the government.

Leading rebel Anna Soubry said she had found a woman MP “upset and also also also shaken” on Tuesday evening after a whip tried to persuade her not to revolt. She told MPs on Thursday morning, which none of the rebels took any pleasure in defeating the government, adding which “nobody drank champagne”.

After the result was announced, one of the rebels, former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, tweeted: “Tonight Parliament took control of the EU Withdrawal process.”

which did not go down well with Tory MP Nadine Dorries, who called for the deselection of rebel Tories for “undermining the PM”, and also also also accused their leader, Dominic Grieve of “treachery”.

Rebel Tory Sarah Wollaston hit back on Twitter, saying: “Get over yourself Nadine.”

Dominic Grieve tried to calm the mood, insisting he was merely trying to ensure Brexit was carried out in an “orderly, sensible way”.

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Media captionThere were cheers by the opposition benches as the result was announced


BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

the item’s certainly true which the Tory party can be so divided over how we leave the EU which the Parliamentary process was always going to be very, very choppy.

nevertheless another minister told me the defeat can be “bad for Brexit” and also also also was openly frustrated and also also also worried about their colleagues’ behaviour.

Read the rest of Laura’s blog

Back to Brussels for another summit

Theresa May has travelled to Brussels to attend a dinner with the 27 different EU leaders, at which she will urge them to approve an agreement to move Brexit talks on to a second phase.

They are all nevertheless certain to agree. Talks could then start next month on the two-year transition period the UK wants to ease the item out of the EU after the item formally leaves in March 2019.

nevertheless the EU wants more detail by the UK government before starting talks on a future relations – including trade – with the UK.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has said he wants to complete the “substantive portion” of trade negotiations by March 2019, leaving open the possibility which the detail will be hammered out during the two-year transition period.

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Media captioncan be the item game over for Brexit?

The EU Withdrawal Bill – what can be the item?

The EU Withdrawal Bill can be a key part of the government’s exit strategy.

Its effects include ending the supremacy of EU law and also also also copying existing EU law into UK law, so the same rules and also also also regulations apply on Brexit day.

MPs have been doing hundreds of attempts to change its wording – nevertheless Wednesday’s vote was the 1st time one has succeeded.

Unless the government manages to overturn the item further down the line, the item means a completely new Act of Parliament will have to be passed before ministers can implement the withdrawal deal struck with Brussels.

The next Brexit row?

Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer urged David Davis not to undermine Wednesday night’s vote when the EU Withdrawal Bill reaches the next stage of its passage into law.

Mr Davis said the vote might lead to a “very compressed timetable” for Brexit legislation and also also also the government “will have to think about how we respond to the item”.

There can be also a row brewing over a vote next week on putting the precise date and also also also time of Britain’s exit by the EU – 11pm on 29 March 2019 – into law.

Sir Keir described the vote as the next “accident waiting to happen”, telling Mr Davis: “Rather than repeat last night’s debacle, will the government currently commit to dropping which ill-conceived gimmick?”

Mr Davis told Sir Keir: “Unlike him, I do not view votes of which House of Commons as accidents. They are decisions taken by the House, and also also also which decision we respect, as we will the next one.”

Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake also warned the prime minister she was heading for defeat if she did not drop the “silly idea” of enshrining the Brexit date and also also also time in law, adding: “Parliament has currently shown the item can be not prepared to be bullied.”

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