Wednesday, 30 Sep 2020

Brexit LIVE: Boris defeats ‘rebellion’ – set to offer take it or leave it deal to EU today

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Downing Street will throw the ball back in the court of the Brussels bloc after Prime Minister Boris Johnson managed to find an agreement with Tory rebels over the UK Internal Market Bill. The Government will table an amendment to the Brexit bill, giving MPs a vote before it can use powers which would breach the deal brokered with Brussels last year.

Around 30 Tory rebels were thought to be preparing to vote for an amendment on Tuesday which would have required a Commons vote before the provisions in the Bill relating to Northern Ireland could come into force.

But Downing Street announced in a joint statement with Conservative MPs Sir Bob Neill and Damian Green, vowing to seek to amend the Bill to require the Commons to vote before a minister can use the “notwithstanding” powers contained within it.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the move was not the prime minister “giving up on his plans”.

She said: “Whatever you think of that, asking for extra permission from MPs does not mean that ministers have backed down on the overall principle that provoked such outrage.

“Aside from anything else, this is a government with a huge majority, so giving Parliament a “lock” is not exactly a big restriction.

“And this move does not mean that resistance in the House of Lords will disappear. And for that matter, the EU’s upset at a tense time will remain.

“But don’t mistake that for Downing Street giving up on its plan which caused such outrage at the start.”

It came after the Government’s top law officer for Scotland resigned amid reports he was unhappy about the plans to override the Withdrawal Agreement.

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