Lords aim to take no-deal threat away

Lords aim to take no-deal threat away

Lords aim to take no-deal threat away

Downing Street has also suggested that it could be a ploy to keep Britain in the European Union indefinitely.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We can't have a situation where the clearly expressed will of the people in a referendum is thwarted by effectively procedural devices that would keep us in the European Union indefinitely".

Earlier, May's trade minister, Liam Fox, accused the unelected peers in the upper house of "trying to block the democratic will of the British people".

This new amendment - which Lords passed by 335 votes to 244 - would give parliament the final say on what the United Kingdom government should do if May's deal is rejected by MPs.

Last week, the Lords voted by 384 votes to 225 to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

"I don't think he does understand the wider unionist culture of Northern Ireland".

The amendment gives parliament the power to decide what the government should do if May's final deal is rejected in the Commons.

"It is absolutely right that Parliament is able to scrutinise the final deal, and that is why we have already committed to giving both Houses a vote on the final deal".

Nineteen Conservatives rebelled as the House of Lords voted by 335 to 244 votes - a majority of 91 - for MPs and peers to be automatically consulted if a deal with Brussels is rejected by Parliament or Mrs May fails to negotiate any agreement.

It would spell the end of the "take it or leave it" approach promised by ministers, under which the only alternative to accepting a deal thrashed out by Mrs May and Brussels would be the United Kingdom leaving without a deal.

But Labour said the vote marked a "hugely significant moment" in the fight to ensure Parliament has a "proper role" in the Brexit negotiations and a no-deal situation was avoided.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit minister, told the Observer: "This is one of the most important amendments of the entire Brexit process - and indeed of the parliament".

The Prime Minister has always insisted that MPs and peers would be offered a choice between accepting an exit agreement or allowing Britain to leave the bloc without any deal.

Senior Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston said Brexiteers wanted to "take back control" to the United Kingdom but "Parliament won't support a hard Brexit".

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