Government avoids EU Withdrawal Bill defeat after last-ditch deal on 'meaningful vote'

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At this point, the main way in which a no-deal Brexit might happen is if the process simply runs out of time and the United Kingdom is unable to get Article 50 extended.

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. He said he would vote against the prime minister.

Theresa May met with rebel backbenchers moments before MPs voted on an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have given them the power to tell her to go back and renegotiate the Brexit deal.

Earlier the government avoided a major defeat in a key vote on changes to the Brexit bill.

These were the words of a minister expecting to win the vote. The news they all voted against is no surprise, as the party supports not leaving the European Union altogether.

But after meeting Mrs May he told this paper: "I've been to see the prime minister and received important undertakings and made a decision to vote to give the prime minister the authority and freedom to negotiate the best deal she can".

"That term, Mr Speaker, is actually specifically defined in the Belfast Agreement and I've no doubt that government ministers will have read the Belfast Agreement in its entirety", she said. That effectively rules out threatening the European Union with a no-deal Brexit, because the Commons will not approve a no-deal Brexit.

The most contentious was the bid to give Parliament the power to tell the government what to do if the Brexit deal was voted down or no agreement was reached.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Mr Grieve commented on the Government's concessions, stating: "There was bound to be discussion about the amendment, and that discussion was positive".

Pro-EU Tories want guarantees that Parliament will be able to stop the government taking Britain out of the EU without a deal, if negotiations break down in Brussels. Wollaston tweeted: "Following further assurances that further govt amendments will come forward in the Lords, I will now be supporting the govt".

Underlining the fear that pro-EU Conservative rebels could vote against the government, May addressed lawmakers in her party at a meeting of its 1922 Committee to try to rally the troops before facing the first day of hard votes.

To buy off a group of Tory rebels - whose ranks were boosted by the shock resignation of Justice Minister Phillip Lee Tuesday morning - the prime minister agreed in principle, according to the rebels, to write into law a new deadline in the Brexit talks: November 30, 2018.

Soubry then asked Speaker of the House John Bercow if he would condemn any abuse dished out to MPs throughout the course of the Brexit bill's vote.

"The main reason for my taking this decision now is the Brexit process and the government's wish to limit parliament's role in contributing to the final outcome in a vote that takes place today", Lee, who voted to remain in the European Union during Britain's 2016 referendum, said on his website.

The result left Prime Minister Theresa May to fight another day as she tries to take Britain out of the bloc while retaining support from pro-EU and pro-Brexit wings of her Conservative Party.

Ms. May's minority government relies on the support of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party for a slender working majority in the 650-member Commons.

Brexit protesters outside Parliament House.

"The question of what form parliamentary approval of the withdrawal bill takes is one of the most significant decisions this house will have to take", he said.

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