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May: I have listened to rebels over Brexit bill

May: I have listened to rebels over Brexit bill

Theresa May has insisted she has listened to Tory rebels' concerns after they rejected her bid to find a compromise over the EU Withdrawal Bill.She said she "recognised" the concerns of Tories who want MPs to have more of a say if no Brexit deal is reached.But she said she had to "balance" that with ensuring "we don't overturn the decision of the British people". Tory rebels say a government amendment drawn up to avert a rebellion over the bill next week is not acceptable.
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Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve told the BBC on Friday that the wording had been changed at the last minute after days of talks between himself and ministers and he could not understand why.
"It does feel, I have to say, to be blunt about it, it seems a bit like a slap in the face," he said. Other rebels suggested the prime minister had "caved in" to the demands of Brexiteers.
Dominic Grieve: 'Something was inexplicably changed'
But Mrs May told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "I did indeed meet a group of my fellow MPs. I listened to their concerns and I undertook to consider their concerns."And the next day I stood up in Prime Minister's Questions and said I'd put an amendment down in the House of Lords. I've done exactly that. But she said while she "recognised the concerns", Parliament "cannot tie the hands of government in negotiations"."As we are sitting there negotiating on the details of our future relationship or our withdrawal agreement, we can't have a situation where every time we have to take a decision we have to go back and have a lengthy debate," she said."But it's also important that Parliament cannot and should not overturn the will of the British people, which was to leave the EU."She admitted there had been "a debate" about what a "meaningful" vote for Parliament meant: "I've listened carefully to the concerns, I've put an amendment down which I think balances this issue of the role of Parliament together with the need for us to ensure we don't overturn the decision of the British people."Mr Grieve has said he will hold further talks with ministers.
What the government's amendment says
The government's amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill sets out what must happen in the event of three scenarios: If MPs vote down the UK-EU Brexit deal, if Theresa May announces before 21 January 2019 that no deal has been reached, or if 21st January passes with no deal being struck.Under these circumstances, a minister must make a statement in Parliament setting out their next steps and give MPs an opportunity to vote.However, the vote would be on "a motion in neutral terms", merely stating that the House has considered the statement.Mr Grieve had originally wanted the amendment to say that the government must seek the approval of Parliament for its course of action - and that ministers must be directed by MPs and peers.The EU Withdrawal Bill returns to the House of Lords on Monday. It will then return to the Commons, where a fresh showdown is expected unless a deal is hammered out. The government says the new law is needed to ensure a "smooth and orderly Brexit" as the UK prepares to leave the European Union in March 2019.Its main purposes are to end the supremacy of EU law in the UK, and transfer existing EU law into UK law so the same rules and regulations apply on the day after Brexit.But as it passes through Parliament, MPs and peers have been trying to change it, in some cases adding bits on that would change the government's Brexit strategy.The government says the whole row is about the "hypothetical" scenario where no deal is reached - or one is rejected by Parliament - and they are "confident we will agree a good deal with the EU which Parliament will support".
Theresa May
Dominic Grieve
Brexit
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