Brexit rebellion: Watch the moment Theresa May is defeated by her own MPs in landmark vote

Cheers erupt as the result announced

Henry Austin
Wednesday 13 December 2017 23:11
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Tory rebellion leads to defeat of Government over Brexit amendment

This is the moment that the government lost its key vote on its Brexit bill after a rebellion by 11 Conservative MPs.

In front of a packed House of Commons in the end the Government was defeated by 309 votes to 305, a margin of just four votes.

Cheers erupted as the result was announced.

In a damaging blow to Theresa May’s already diminished authority, Tory rebels rallied around ringleader Dominic Grieve to back his attempt to ensure MPs have a "meaningful vote" on the withdrawal deal.

Tory Remainer Nicky Morgan tweeted "Tonight Parliament took control of the EU Withdrawal process", while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the defeat as "a humiliating loss of authority" for Mrs May.

Amid intense scenes in the Commons as the division was called, would-be rebel Vicky Ford appeared to be wavering between division lobbies before being ushered towards the Government side by Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexiteer MP James Cleverly.

She had asked Mr Raab to outline his concession, who told her he was making it "crystal clear" that there would be a "meaningful vote" before the withdrawal deal was put into UK law.

Mr Grieve's amendment means the Government can only implement elements of the withdrawal agreement once a statute allowing them to do so has been passed - a measure which appears to go beyond Mrs May's promised vote on a resolution of both Houses.

The statute sought by Mr Grieve would undergo full parliamentary scrutiny - meaning it could be rewritten by MPs, potentially leaving the Government vulnerable to further revolts over elements of the withdrawal deal.

The Beaconsfield MP said he had no option but to push his amendment to a vote because the Bill gave ministers "the biggest Henry VIII power ever conferred on Government" with no justification.

"I'm obviously pleased with the outcome because I felt it was a vote which had to be taken, particularly in view of the intransigence and difficulty we had in trying to reason with the Government over the last few days," Mr Grieve said.

"Do I otherwise feel good about it? No, it's the first time I've ever had to rebel on a national issue against the Government, I think I've only ever done it once before in respect of High-Speed 2, so it's one of the most unpleasant things one can possibly do."

The Press Association contributed to this report

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