News May secures major victory in major parliamentary Brexit battle By NEOnline

John Prescott

Britain's unelected House of Lords inflicted a major defeat Monday for Prime Minister Theresa May with a landslide vote in a debate on the government's Brexit bill.

Some pro-EU Conservative lawmakers had complained that a government plan to simply make a statement to parliament if it fails to negotiate a deal or if lawmakers reject it gave them no real control over the process because they could not make changes that could influence the government's thinking.

The Lib Dems said the "so-called Tory rebels" had "lost their bottle and caved into yet another pathetic government compromise that isn't worth the paper it is written on", while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the concession was a "fudge".

The vote passed 319 to 303 after would-be Tory rebels were given assurances they would have a meaningful say.

She will ask the lower House of Commons to pass her European Union withdrawal bill, which will prepare Britain for a divorce next March.

That's a scenario feared by United Kingdom businesses but favored by some euroskeptic members of May's Conservative minority government, who want a clean break from the EU.

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The vote, due on Wednesday afternoon or early evening, could have implications for Britain's wider Brexit strategy, indicating where the power lies in parliament.

"We can not accept the amendment on a meaningful vote agreed in the Lords", he said, adding that it "would undermine our ability in the negotiations to get the best deal for the country".

Ministers made a small concession, granting Commons Speaker John Bercow a role in determing how parliament will proceed if Britain can not reach agreement with the European Union, and assuring rebels that time would be granted for debate.

The PM said more detail on the UK-EU's future relationship will be given soon.

"The vote will be tight", a government source told AFP. But, again, the Somerset MP pointed out MPs can table whatever motion they want to and have a vote on it without it having legal force.

The bill, which returned to the Lords immediately after the Commons vote, is expected be waved through by the upper chamber and could be on the statute book within days.

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Amid all the Commons heat and tension, the whips' "dark arts" and the freakish sight of the chief Tory rebel Dominic Grieve not voting for his own amendment, where does it leave us?

Labour MP Naz Shah, was taken to the House of Commons from her sick bed, transported in a wheelchair while carrying a "sick bag" fearing she may vomit.

The government instead offered only an unamendable "neutral motion", which would have allowed MPs to take note of the situation.

"We will be retabling our original amendment", he said, adding: "We hope that all MPs will be able to support the government's position".

Amid what The Guardian describes as "a welter of procedural technicalities about the powers of MPs and the potential role of the judges", lead rebel Dominic Grieve withdrew his support for his own amendment after accepting Government reassurances about its respect for the power of MPs to hold it to account. Other rebels have also reportedly, "called off the revolt", including former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan.

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