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UK: Brexit: May defeats rebel Customs Union amendment

18th Jul 2018
UK: Brexit: May defeats rebel Customs Union amendment

By Muhammad Mussa

 

LONDON (AA): British Prime Minister Theresa May fended off a rebellion in the lower house of parliament Tuesday after narrowly defeating a Customs Union amendment by rebel Tory MPs that could have kept the UK in the Customs Union in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario post-Brexit.

MPs were able to defeat the proposal by a slim majority of six votes (307-301), and in the process, May was able to stave off an all-out Tory civil war between Remainers, or those who voted for the UK to remain in the European Union, and hardline Brexiteers, who want to end all links with the EU.

The prime minister, however, was not without her defeats as minutes before the Customs Union amendment vote, she suffered her second Brexit defeat in the House of Commons, or lower house of parliament, after MPs voted to allow the UK to remain under EU medicines regulation.

The government was widely expected to be defeated on the rebel trade bill amendment which could have forced May to try to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU if no agreement had been reached on frictionless trade by Jan. 21, 2019.

Twelve Tory ‘remainer’ MPs rebelled against the party whip and backed the amendment while four Labour Brexit-supporting MPs rebelled against their party whip and backed the government.

Sources from the Conservative party said more Tory MPs would have rebelled against the government had they not been threatened by the party whip that a rebellion would force a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister and might open up the possibility of a general election.

[Photo: UK Parliament. ©-Copyright Oast House Archive/Creative Commons]

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