May vows to defend Brexit from parliament

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street to attend Prime Minister Questions (PMQ's) in the House of Commons, Central London, Britain, 23 May 2018. EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

May vows to defend Brexit from parliament


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In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, the British prime minister Theresa May vowed to protect Brexit from parliament. Meanwhile, Tory backbenchers are threatening to bring down her government.

“We need to recognize the role of parliament but ensure that the government’s hands can’t be tied in negotiations and that parliament does not overturn the will of the people,” May told the BBC on Sunday.

However, the Conservative member of Parliament Dominic Grieve told the BBC that he fears a “no deal” scenario and he is willing to see the government “collapse” to avert this possibility.

Last week, Conservative backbenchers that do not agree with the “no deal is better than a bad deal” position reached a compromise with the government. last week The UK prime minister promised a “meaningful vote,” in the event there was no deal with the EU by November 2018. In exchange, the backbenchers agreed to vote against a House of Lords amendment that would keep the UK in the European Economic Area.

However, the backbenchers now feel that Theresa May has violated their agreement.

The amendment drawn by the UK government speaks of merely an advisory rather than a meaningful vote. The government’s amendment sets out what must happen in the “no deal” scenario by January 2018. In that case, MPs will indeed get the chance to vote; however, the motion put on the floor will be neutral and non-binding.

As a consequence, Grieve is promising not to vote with the government in passing the EU withdrawal bill. Grieve told the BBC that a parliamentary group of Conservative members of parliament are unwilling to support a “slavery clause” that does not give the house a final say on what happens if negotiations fail.

Mr Grieve says these MPs “could collapse the government” over this issue, as he has “cold sweat” over what could happen if negotiations fail. Grieve is the second Conservative MP after Tom Tugendhat to threaten to bring down the government over the issue.

The prime minister thinks that the so-called “slavery clause” actually “balances out” concerns on the issue, while in keeping with the referendum result. She refused to “tie the hands of government” in ongoing negotiations.

Brexit Secretary David Davies and prime minister Theresa May have made clear they will not accept a motion that allows the parliament to reverse the 2016 non-binding referendum result.

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