British Government defeats attempts to give politicians decisive say over final Brexit terms

The British Government comfortably defeated attempts to give British MPs a decisive say over the final terms of Brexit in the face of anger among Tory remain campaigners.

Seven Conservative MPs, Ken Clarke, Bob Neill, Andrew Tyrie, Claire Perry, Anna Soubry, Antoinette Sandbach and Heidi Allen, defied their party whip.

But their protest was virtually cancelled out by six Labour MPs, Frank Field, Ronnie Campbell, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, Graham Stringer and Gisela Stuart, who voted with the Government.

Tory rebels hit out at the Government after it appeared to make a concession to appease remain campaigners, only to later to play down suggestions it had made any compromise.

Conservative former education secretary Nicky Morgan was seen having a heated exchange with the party’s chief whip, Gavin Williamson, before returning to the backbenches while the vote took place.

She tweeted: "Govt did make a concession but for No 10 to then brief there was no change & Minister to undermine it makes no sense."

Conservative former minister Bob Neill said he had voted against the Government "for the first time ever".

Tory MP Heidi Allen rebelled, tweeting: "I’ve just voted in support of new clause 110, along with many conservative colleagues."

Former UK chancellor George Osborne failed to turn up for the vote.

The amendment to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill from Chris Leslie required Parliament to approve any new treaty or relationship before final agreement with the EU, but was defeated by 326 votes to 293.

Brexit minister David Jones earlier told MPs there will be a vote on the deal "before it is concluded" and it is intended to take place before the European Parliament debates and votes on the agreement.

Labour claimed the move as a "significant victory" in response to its repeated demands for a "meaningful" vote at the end of the two-year negotiation process.

But pressure group Open Britain said it should be rejected as a "con" and many MPs hit out at the refusal to give them a veto should no Brexit deal be agreed.

Downing Street played down suggestions the move amounted to a concession to potential Conservative rebels, insisting that it merely clarified the timing of the vote promised by Theresa May in her Lancaster House speech last month.


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