Theresa May is set to quash Tory rebels as Labour vow to back the Brexit bill
The Prime Minister is refusing to bow to pressure from Conservative MPs who plan to “wreck” the Article 50 bill.
Theresa May will not offer the rebels a compromise, according to the Daily Telegraph, as she expects to win the final vote to trigger Article 50 on Wednesday.
But Mrs May is standing firm and refusing to accept amendments from backbenchers after Labour vowed to back the bill to trigger the formal process of leaving the EU, even if its amendments were overlooked.
David Davis was clear about our position last week. This isn’t a bill that needs amending
Number 10 source
A Number 10 source told The Times: “David Davis was clear about our position last week. This isn’t a bill that needs amending.
“It firmly ticks off what we thing the British people voted for. Let’s just get on with the job and get cracking.”
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Labour would “not frustrate Brexit” and insisted the party would respect the result of the referendum.
John McDonnell, shadow chancellor, echoed his colleague. He said Labour “will not block” Brexit.
He added: ”We’ll try and get our amendments through. If they don’t go through, well, we’ll continue to campaign after that.”
It is thought up to a dozen Tories could join forces with Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP MPs to vote for amendments to try and block the bill passing through parliament.
The bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons last week by a majority of 384.
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Theresa May will not offer the Tory rebels a compromise
Today marks the start of three days of debates on the bill, titled European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.
Downing Street is said to be confident the bill will pass and Tory whips will not attempt to persuade MPs against voting with the opposition, with ministers believing the amendments do not have enough support.
The amendments which have been selected for debate will be announced today.
It is thought the rights of EU citizens and whether Parliament will get final vote on the deal will be chosen.
Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry are rumoured to be part of the Tory rebellion
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Labour would “not frustrate Brexit”
Weekend reports suggested Mrs May could be facing a rebellion of up to 27 MPs including Ken Clarke and former ministers Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve.
A Conservative source suggested the real number of Tory MPs planning to vote for the amendments is closer to 12.
Labour has demanded the Government provide regular reports on the progress of Brexit negotiations.
As the bill enters the committee stage this week, the split in the Labour party is expected to be laid bare.
Theresa May's Brexit plan
Mon, January 16, 2017
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
In total 13 of Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbenchers rebelled last week against the three-line whip to support the bill at its second reading.
It is unclear whether shadow home secretary Diane Abbott will vote to start the formal process of leaving the EU after she missed last week’s historic vote.
Clive Lewis, the shadow business secretary, has hinted he may resign is Labour’s amendments are rejected.
Mr Corbyn is expected to announce changes to the Shadow Cabinet this week.