Theresa May has warned there may be “no Brexit at all” because of attempts to wreck her plans on a future trade relationship with the European Union, the Mail on Sunday reports.
The Prime Minister has excluded a second referendum and so has Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Some now fear that the splits mean the Commons will struggle to find a majority to support any Brexit policy that Theresa May brings forward.
MPs are debating another key piece of Brexit legislation – the Trade Bill – in the Commons on Tuesday.
But Tory remainers said their proposal was “exactly in line” with the Brexit white paper. But Eurosceptic Conservative MPs say it’s a compromise too far and Remain-supporters suggest it would be the worst of all worlds.
“The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people”, she said.
May has suffered a string of resignations from Cabinet members and ministerial aides over the past week.
“With less than nine months until the UK’s exit from the European Union, there is little time for both sides to reach agreement on key issues for our sector, such as aviation safety oversight, customs arrangements and environmental standards”.
Government whips overcame the rebellion by a dozen Tory lawmakers – reportedly issuing last-ditch threats it would prompt a no-confidence vote in the prime minister – by just seven votes.
The successful amendment requires Mrs May to make it an objective in negotiations with Brussels to ensure that the United Kingdom can continue to participate in the regulatory network operated by the European Medicines Agency.
On IP, the government says it intends to explore staying in the Court and Unitary patents system; make sure the Unified Patent Court Agreement can continue, and seek on any future agreements to boost protections for rights-holders by providing a “confident and secure” operating procedure between the United Kingdom and EU.
The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March of next year, but has yet to agree how its final relationship with the bloc will work.
The defeat on the amendment, put forward by former minister Phillip Lee, is only the second time the government has been defeated in the Commons on Brexit legislation.
A senior minister said it was “extraordinary that we lost the vote that didn’t matter and won the one that did”.
Pro-EU Conservative rebels were reportedly warned that defeat on the amendment could force a general election.
The prime minister this weekend defended her plan, saying there was no alternative that protected trade in goods with the European Union and avoided border checks in Ireland.
Ross Thomson was one of a group of hardline Brexiteers who forced changes to the Customs Bills on Monday evening. The so-called Remain-supporting “rebels” have threatened to vote against the government before only to back down with only the vaguest concessions.