Theresa May Wins Brexit Parliament Vote, Defeats Rebellion
But she had to make a number of compromises.
What you need to know
- Theresa May has won a Parliament vote on Britain's Brexit strategy
- To win the vote she had to make a number of compromises
- May promised to discuss Brexit changes with lawmakers before they are confirmed with Brussels
LONDON (Reuters) -- Prime Minister Theresa May defeated a rebellion in parliament over her Brexit plans on Tuesday, but only after having to compromise and hand lawmakers more control over Britain’s departure from the European Union.
After winning Tuesday’s vote over changes to a future “meaningful vote” on a final agreement with Brussels in her EU withdrawal bill, May’s plans to end more than 40 years of membership in the bloc were still on track.
Her concession to discuss the changes may mean lawmakers could have more power if she fails to secure a Brexit deal, possibly leading to a softer approach to Britain’s divorce. However, as things stand, they will not be able to send the government back into negotiations if they reject an agreement with the EU.
Brexit campaigners still expressed concern that the concession may open the door to the EU trying to force Britain into retaining the closest possible ties with the bloc by weakening the government’s hand in the talks. Pro-EU lawmakers welcomed it as a signal that the government is giving up on a “no deal” Brexit.
Lawmakers backed a government plan, ending a rebellion that would have challenged May’s authority at a time when she is increasingly under pressure to move ahead with all-but stalled Brexit talks in Brussels by offering a more detailed plan.
The pound traded higher against the euro and the dollar after the votes.
Earlier, Brexit minister David Davis told parliament a defeat would undermine negotiations with Brussels and warned lawmakers the government would never allow them to “reverse Brexit”.
The government’s victory was the first major win in two days of debates on its EU withdrawal bill, which will sever ties with the EU, after the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, introduced 15 changes.
It followed a strained parliamentary session, where the deep divisions opened up by Britain’s vote to leave the EU in 2016 were on display, with lawmakers who oppose the government saying they had received death threats.