British Prime Minister Theresa May: President Trump Suggested Suing the EU

Marsha Scott
July 18, 2018

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly survived another crunch Brexit vote in parliament Tuesday, as she struggles to unify her divided party around her strategy for leaving the European Union.

In his letter he wrote: "I fear elements of the Brexit white paper will inevitably put me in direct conflict with the views expressed by a large section of my constituents".

But they prompted a total of eight resignations, including that of Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson, and a growing threat to the prime minister.

MPs will carry on debating Brexit on Tuesday when the Trade Bill comes to the Commons.

This potentially serves the interests of both "hard Brexiters" outraged at the Chequers agreement, and "hard Remainers" wanting to stay in the European Union rather than settle for a softish Brexit.

The report stage of the bill will also see MPs debate a long-awaited amendment that would keep the United Kingdom in the EU customs union post-Brexit that is supported by Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and two Tory Remainers, Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke.

On Monday, she appeared ready to make one major concession to the hard-liners, allowing important changes to the government's customs agreement with the the hopes of heading off continued dissension.

The rebels included Guto Bebb, MP for the marginal seat of Aberconwy in North Wales and a junior defence minister, who dramatically resigned from his government job as he entered the No lobby with his fellow rebel MPs.

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But the slim margins and rebellion from members of her own party have underscored the fragility of the prime minister's government as she tries to move the complex Brexit process forward.

In the preceding vote, the government had fallen to only its second defeat on Brexit in the Commons, as MPs voted by 305 to 301 for continued United Kingdom involvement in the EU's regulatory system for medicines.

"I suspect the Chequers deal is, in fact, dead", Conservative lawmaker Bernard Jenkin told the BBC.

In bruising Commons exchanges, Remainer Anna Soubry accused Mrs May of "caving in" to Eurosceptics.

May claims that the trade bill will enable Britain to maintain the 40-odd trade agreements that the European Union has with countries around the world.

"We have accepted these amendments because we believe them to be consistent with the approach that was set out and agreed at Chequers", he said.

Plus Andrew Griffiths, a key ally and former chief of staff for Theresa May resigned this weekend over inappropriate sexual texts to constituents, making 10 government resignations in just 8 days.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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