Government defeats rebel Tory move to keep Britain in EU customs union

May bows to Brexit pressure in parliament

This morning former cabinet member Justine Greening took the divisive step to call for a 2nd referendum vote on European Union membership, she said: "Brexit has to be above party politics, what's right for the country needs to come first".

A Cornwall MP has resigned from his role as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, saying the Government's "watered down" Brexit plan goes against the wishes of his constituents.

The bill gives the government the power to set up new worldwide trade relationships after Britain leaves the European Union next March. However, the move to appease the Eurosceptic-wing of the party has, in turn, enraged remainers, with Guto Bebb stepping down as a defense minister in order to vote against the amendments tonight.

In a sometimes heated debate Conservative Anna Soubry said the plan May agreed at her meeting with ministers at her Cheqeurs retreat had now been wrecked by caving in to no-deal Brexiteers.

Her recent white paper outlining plans for a "common rule book" with the European Union over trade in goods has infuriated those who favor a complete break.

"This could lead to a damaging and disorderly Brexit", she wrote.

The Father of the House said: "The moment that we have an important Bill like yesterday and today, the government is anxious that the House of Commons should have no opportunity to talk about it, limited opportunities to vote about it and it should be got out of the way as quickly as possible and I really do think the convention needs to be challenged".

May said Monday that her plan honors the wishes of British voters - who in June 2016 backed Brexit in a 52 percent to 48 percent vote - while also protecting industry and security.

Mrs May was defeated on a separate amendment to her flagship Trade Bill, which will require her to seek continued United Kingdom participation in the EU's system for regulation of medicines after Brexit by 305 votes to 301.

Applying EU tariffs to products destined for the EU is part of Mrs May's plan to avoid friction at United Kingdom borders after Brexit.

The rebellions left the Government scraping through with a majority of three on two votes.

Another amendment, to ensure the United Kingdom is out of the EU's Value-Added Tax regime, was backed by 303 to 300, with a Tory rebellion of 11.

Labour Brexiteers Frank Field, Kate Hoey, John Mann and Graham Stringer - along with independent Kelvin Hopkins - voted with the Government.

He was joined by Heidi Allen, Kenneth Clarke, Jonathan Djanogly, Dominic Grieve, Stephen Hammond, Phillip Lee, Nicky Morgan, Bob Neill, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston. Rees-Mogg said that he wanted rather to test the support in parliament for changing her strategy.

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