U.K. Minister Phillip Lee Resigns Ahead of Brexit Bill Showdown

Former PM says May could be ousted if EU vote goes against government

The House of Commons voted 324 to 298 to defeat an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which would have removed her government's power to unilaterally walk away from talks with Brussels.

The pound strengthened 0.3 percent against the dollar to $1.3424 after parliament voted to back the government on several amendments to the European Union withdrawal bill.

But Tuesday's victory came at a cost - a government promise to strengthen Parliament's voice, potentially at the expense of its own power to set the terms of any final divorce deal with the EU.

They subsequently warned they will not be easily bought off, while Tory Brexiteers urged ministers not to concede any ground.

But Solicitor General Robert Buckland publicly implied that Government would be accepting part of Grieve's amendment, and said that a "structured discussion" would take place with rebels.

MPs voted down the Lords amendment on "sifting regulations" by a majority of 22.

Conservative former minister Anna Soubry said the abuse of MPs who speak out against the government's Brexit policy "simply has to stop". "I'm fairly confident we will be able to do that". Wollaston tweeted: "Following further assurances that further govt amendments will come forward in the Lords, I will now be supporting the govt".

"In all conscience, I can not support the Government's decision to oppose this amendment because doing so breaches such fundamental principles of human rights and Parliamentary sovereignty".

The issue seen as most likely to provoke a rebellion was that of giving MPs a "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal.

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"This justifies my decision to resign and makes it a lot less painful".

It is thought that both the government and the Remainer group of Tory MPs consider the outcome to be a success.

Passions ran high in Tuesday's three-hour debate, when angry eurosceptics accused their rivals of trying to undermine the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.

"The reason for that is that the House of Commons if it sets out indications for how the Government should negotiate, it's a very inflexible body for doing that".

If the government avoids defeat, is Brexit a done deal?

"However, facing the prospect of a humiliating defeat, Theresa May has been forced to enter negotiations with her backbenchers and offer a so-called concession".

"I've been through this before when in opposition and now that when we're in Government, because if the House makes the concession of allowing the dialogue to continue and I can see the merit of that happening, it has got to be done in good faith".

Just hours earlier, Downing Street had signalled the prime minister had no intention of accepting Grieve's compromise amendment to the European Union withdrawal bill, tabled by the former attorney general and aimed at ensuring ministers can't "crash out of the European Union by ministerial fiat", as he called it.

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