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Tag Archives: Brexit

Brexit: UK must not be EU ‘colony’ after Brexit

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Ken Clarke

A leading Brexiteer has said the UK cannot become a “colony” of the EU during the two year transition period after Britain’s withdrawal in 2019.

EU leaders have agreed Brexit talks can move on, with the UK staying in the customs union, single market and under the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction during the transition.

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said that would be unacceptable.

But Tory remainer Ken Clarke said the UK must not “go off a cliff edge”.

The former chancellor told BBC Newsnight that during the transition the UK would continue economically under the current terms, but would have left the union politically.

Otherwise, he said it would be a “disaster” if come March 2019 negotiations were not finished and the UK would have to resort to tariff and customs barriers.

“I doubt we’d get the planning permission for the lorry parks in time,” he said.

However, Mr Rees-Mogg said leaving under these terms would be “a ridiculous position to be in”.

“The transition which the EU is offering means that we’re still effectively in the European Union for the following two years,” he told Newsnight.

On Friday, Prime Minister Theresa May hailed an “important step” as Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, announced that all 27 EU leaders were happy to move on to the next phase of negotiations.

The first issue to be discussed, early next year, will be the details of the expected two-year transition period after the UK’s exit.

Death threat

The EU has published its guidelines which say: “As the UK will continue to participate in the customs union and the single market during the transition, it will have to continue to comply with EU trade policy.”

The three-page document says the UK will remain under the jurisdiction of the ECJ and be required to permit freedom of movement during any transition period.

But Mr Rees-Mogg said such a situation would make the UK “a vassal” – or subordinate – state of the EU, having to accept laws “without any say-so” from the British people.

Mrs May suffered her first Commons Brexit defeat earlier this week when MPs voted to give Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels.

Among the Tory rebels was Mr Clarke, who told Newsnight his actions had in no way undermined the government’s negotiating position.

He said he had since received a death threat, although he added it was not his first.

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Newspaper headlines: ‘Royal own goal’ wedding and final clash

Image caption The Daily Mail leads on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day, which the paper says presents a “diary clash for millions” as it coincides with the day of the FA Cup Final.
Image caption The Sun is more optimistic about the wedding date, claiming Brits will be “gearing up for a party marathon” come 9 May, which it says will give the economy a “huge boost”.
Image caption The Times reports on comments from senior barristers that the collapsed rape trial against student Liam Allen is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to serious police failings in handling evidence. Mr Allen spent two years on bail before police handed over text messages that led to the case collapsing.
Image caption The Daily Mail reports that some NHS nurses are being charged “up to £1,300 a year” to park at work, which the paper calls “despicable”.
Image caption The Daily Telegraph reports that eight in 10 rural homes and businesses cannot get a good 4G mobile phone signal, ahead of a rollout of relaxed planning laws which the paper says will help build a new generation of masts.
Image caption The Guardian leads on the resignation of the chairman of the house builder, Persimmon, who the paper says “orchestrated a £100m plus bonus” for the company’s chief executive. Critics called the share scheme “obscene” and accused the company of benefiting from the help-to-buy scheme.
Image caption The i paper has the latest on Brexit negotiations and asks whether the prime minister has managed to “turn it around” as trade talks are set to begin in weeks.
Image caption The FT Weekend calls the Brexit progress “a boost” for Theresa May, but adds that the EU has “stepped up calls” on the prime minister to clarify the type of future relationship Britain wants with the EU.
Image caption The Daily Star looks ahead to Saturday night’s Strictly Come Dancing final, saying that a “catfight has erupted” between Alexandra Burke, Gemma Atkinson and Debbie McGee who will all be vying for the glitter ball glory.
Image caption Meanwhile, the Daily Express leads on a study that finds losing weight “could be the key” to beating rheumatoid arthritis, adding that obese or overweight patients are “far less likely” to respond to treatment.

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Brexit: EU leaders agree to move talks onto next stage

Breaking News image

EU leaders have agreed to move Brexit talks on to second phase, says European Council president Donald Tusk.

This mean talks can move on to the long-term relationship between the UK and EU, including trade and security.

The first issue to be discussed, as early as next week, will be the terms of a transition period after the UK leaves in March 2019.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned this process would be “significantly harder”.

Mr Tusk, president of the European Council, tweeted the news after a meeting of the other 27 EU leaders in Brussels.

He congratulated UK prime minister Theresa May on reaching what the BBC‘s political editor Laura Kuenssberg said was a major moment in the Brexit process.

Brexit: EU leaders set to move talks on to next stage

EU leaders at the summit in BrusselsImage copyright AFP/Getty Images

EU leaders are expected to formally agree to start the next phase of Brexit negotiations later.

It means talks can move on to the long-term relationship between the UK and EU, days after Theresa May suffered her first defeat in the House of Commons.

Mrs May was applauded by other leaders at dinner in Brussels on Thursday night after she made a speech about Brexit.

The next round of talks on a transition deal for the end of Brexit are expected to begin as early as next week.

The European Commission has said “sufficient progress” has been made on the first phase to move onto discussing the framework of a future relationship – including issues such as security and trade.

Under EU rules, the prime minister will not attend the meeting where the decision is formally confirmed.

But the round of applause during Thursday’s dinner suggests the process is more or less on track – and indicates a degree of support in Europe for Mrs May, says the BBC‘s Europe correspondent Kevin Connolly.

‘Ambition and creativity’

During the dinner with the 27 other EU leaders, Mrs May urged them to approve an agreement to move Brexit talks on to a second phase.

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Media captionMay: We’ve won 35 out of 36 votes

In a brief speech, she stressed her keenness to get on with shaping a “deep and special” future partnership as quickly as possible, leaving no doubt that she believes she was “on course to deliver Brexit”.

She said she made “no secret” of wanting to move on to the next phase and to approaching it with “ambition and creativity”.

“A particular priority should be agreement on the implementation period so that we can bring greater certainty to businesses in the UK and across the 27,” she said.

The text likely to be rubber-stamped by the leaders will promise to work towards a “framework” for a trade deal – with a wait until March before guidelines for the way ahead are produced.

‘Good progress’

The document states that a formal free trade agreement cannot be signed until after the UK has left the EU.

The talks will first prioritise translating recent headway on the issues of citizens’ rights, the Irish border and the £39bn “divorce bill” into a legally-binding withdrawal agreement – as well as to work out the terms for a transition period to follow the official date of Brexit in March 2019.

The EU leaders will stay on to discuss the eurozone as the two-day summit draws to a close – having also debated the flow of migrants over the Mediterranean, sanctions on Russia and confirmed their support for a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Mrs May has insisted the Brexit process was still “on course” despite her defeat in a Parliamentary vote on Wednesday night.

Speaking in Brussels, Mrs May said she was “disappointed” at the vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill, but the legislation was making “good progress”.

MPs backed an amendment giving them a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels.

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Media captionIs it game over for Brexit?

Ministers are due to have their first discussion of the “end state” relationship between UK and the EU in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mrs May is facing a further challenge next week when MPs vote on a government amendment to enshrine the Brexit date of 29 March 2019 in law.

What Question Time made of Brexit vote defeat

Isabel Oakeshott, Robert Winston, Rebecca Long-Bailey, David Dimbleby, Nicky Morgan and Geoff Norcott

The last Question Time of the year saw Conservative Nicky Morgan and Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey joined on the panel by Professor Robert Winston, comedian Geoff Norcott and journalist Isabel Oakeshott in Barnsley. So what happened?

Coming the day after Theresa May’s first Commons defeat as prime minister on a key Brexit vote, it came as no surprise that the first question of the night was about whether “some MPs” were “trying to subvert the will of the British people” on Brexit.

The lengthy exchanges over the significance of Wednesday’s vote – which demanded MPs get a legal guarantee that they will get a vote on any Brexit deal – went on to dominate much of the programme.

Ms Morgan, one of the Conservative rebels, and Labour’s Ms Long-Bailey both found themselves on the receiving end of barracking from some members of the audience.

Ms Morgan says there has to be a proper debate about the “divisive” subject of Brexit. She set out her position:

But journalist Isabel Oakeshott, a Brexit supporter, said she had “humiliated” the prime minister and undermined her negotiating position.

Ms Long-Bailey – whose party joined with Tory rebels to vote against the government on Wednesday – said the government’s handling of Brexit had been “shambolic” and she was refusing to give them a “blank cheque”.

But they were accused of political naivety, of increasing the prospect of a “no deal” Brexit and of weakening the hands of the UK‘s Brexit negotiators by some in the audience. Ms Morgan points out that the European Parliament will also have a vote. “You are killing it by committee,” an audience member says.

Others were more supportive and said MP should get a vote: “That’s why we elect people.”

‘We are leaving’

Prof Robert Winston says the rebels had ensured “the sovereignty of the British Parliament” with the vote.

But Labour’s Ms Long-Bailey got an earful from a man who accused the party of betraying the working class by supporting the single market. She replied that the party wants similar benefits to the single market, without remaining in it.

Host David Dimbleby asks Professor Robert Winston whether he believes the vote was the beginning of a movement that may lead to the UK not leaving the EU – and notes he does not say “no”. The scientist says “It could just possibly but I think it’s very very unlikely.”

Tory rebel Ms Morgan says not: “It’s going to happen, we are going to leave the European Union,” she tells the audience.

But comedian Geoff Norcott says it is “the death of Brexit by 1,000 amendments” and Isabel Oakshott claims that powerful “vested interests” will “stop at nothing” to keep the UK in the EU. She quotes former Labour minister Lord Adonis who tweeted after the vote: “First step towards defeat of Brexit.”

So is it a way to “see off” Brexit? No, says Rebecca Long-Bailey – but it puts pressure on the PM to listen to concerns and “deliver the best deal possible”: “Nobody wants to vote against a deal and nobody that I have spoken to… the vast majority don’t want no deal,” she says.

Oh, and one other thing. David Dimbleby may be on the next series of Love Island…

Brexit: UK in Erasmus student scheme until at least 2020

University graduatesImage copyright PA

The UK will continue to take part in the Erasmus student exchange programme until at least the end of 2020, the prime minister has said.

Theresa May praised Erasmus+ and confirmed the UK would still be involved after Brexit in March 2019.

Whether it is involved long term is among issues likely to be discussed during the next stage of negotiations.

Erasmus+ sees students study in another European country for between three and 12 months as part of their degree.

The prime minister is in Brussels where she will have dinner with EU leaders on Thursday.

On Friday, without Mrs May, they are expected to formally approve a recommendation that “sufficient progress” has been made in Brexit negotiations so far to move them onto the next stage.

Mrs May agreed a draft deal with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week which would mean the UK would continue its funding of EU projects, including Erasmus, until the end of this EU budget period in 2020.

If EU leaders approve the draft deal, Brexit negotiations can begin on the next phase, covering the future relationship between the UK and EU and a two-year transition or implementation deal from March 2019. It is not clear whether this would include Erasmus+.

Mrs May said that British students benefitted from studying in the EU while UK universities were a popular choice for European students.

Speaking during a discussion on education and culture at the summit in Brussels, she added: “I welcome the opportunity to provide clarity to young people and the education sector and reaffirm our commitment to the deep and special relationship we want to build with the EU.”

Christmas Brexit truce?

Brexit continues to divide the nation 18 months on from the EU referendum. So, in the spirit of the season, we decided to arrange a Christmas truce between Leavers and Remainers. Could they see the other side’s point of view, even for a second?

Remainers – one good thing about Brexit

Image copyright Getty Images

Sir Vince Cable – the Liberal Democrat leader wants an “exit from Brexit” through a referendum on the final deal.

“Houses are going to lose so much value that millennials might actually be able to get their foot on the ladder in Brexit Britain.”

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Caroline Lucas – the Green Party’s co-leader and its only MP is a former member of the European Parliament.

“Aside from seeing the UKIP MEPs lose their EU salaries, there really isn’t much to celebrate about Brexit. If I had to pick one potential benefit it would be the chance to upgrade our farming policy to focus more on environmental protection, rather than the support for large scale agribusiness that has been central to the Common Agricultural Policy.

British governments’ record on the issue doesn’t exactly inspire confidence – but I live in hope that we can reconfigure the subsidy system to support small scale and organic farmers more than before.”

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Chris Leslie – the Labour MP and former shadow chancellor is a leading member of Open Britain, the cross-party group campaigning for a “soft Brexit”.

“If there is a silver lining, I’d say that Brexit has brought together politicians from across the traditional party political divide who weren’t working together previously – but are now.

“There is a growing alliance between moderate politicians from all parties who are finding new common ground, defending values of pro-European free trade and internationalism, something that wasn’t so evident before Brexit.

“In terms of the wider public debate, Brexit has also provoked a wider awareness of international trade and global economics which many people weren’t familiar with until recently.”

Leavers – one good thing about the EU

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Gisela Stuart – As co-chair of the Vote Leave campaign, the Labour MP toured the UK with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. She converted to the Eurosceptic cause after helping to draft an EU constitution in Brussels.

“I shall miss the European Council meetings – seeing all the European politicians sitting around a table trying to thrash things out and seek common solutions. They don’t always achieve it but it’s good that they keep trying.

“I will also miss hearing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (the EU anthem), the finest piece of music ever written.”

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Steven Woolfe – the Mancunian was once touted as the man most likely to succeed Nigel Farage as the next UKIP leader until a spectacular falling out with the party. He now sits as an independent in the European Parliament.

“The EU actually tried to create the removal of all barriers to trade and therefore it has helped ambitious UK companies to expand and grow their exports. I don’t think we should shy away from the positive influence of this, which supported the growth of companies in the UK. I hope now we can carry on building that and go global.

“But the EU wasn’t just about trade, it was also about political unification and I think if that hadn’t happened we would still be in.”

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Patrick O’Flynn – the UKIP MEP gave up a career as the Daily Express‘s political correspondent to fight for Brexit.

“I will miss the very many lovely people who work in the Parliament, including colleagues in the EFDD group, from other countries.

“Leaving is nothing personal, it’s just that the British public have reached the end of their tolerance for political integration and building a super-state. We can keep the things that we need. We might be able to opt into a number of programmes if it is decided they are good value for money.

“The EU was useful in the middle of the 20th Century to prevent war between France and Germany but I don’t suppose the UK leaving is going to make that a concern now.”

Join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #Brexitxmastruce

A dog’s life

Bulldog puppyImage copyright Dogs Trust

“Leaving the European Union provides us with new opportunities to deal with the illegal trade in puppies,” Michael Gove declared.

How might this work, and how exactly could Brexit have an impact on puppy smuggling?

The government has been making much of its support for animal welfare recently, perhaps still smarting from the row involving animal sentience, celebrities and a “fake news” backlash.

Last week the Tories tweeted a picture of a cute puppy, promising to “fight back” against smuggling.

Part of this, according to Mr Gove – the Brexit campaigner-turned environment secretary – involves leaving the European Union.

Pet passports

Image copyright PA
Image caption In 2002 this dog was the first to travel to the UK using a pet passport

This is because charities, campaigners and MPs say the EU’s pet passport scheme is being abused.

Pet passports are used to allow people’s domestic dogs, cats and ferrets to travel freely around Europe.

They are issued by EU countries and a short list of other countries such as Greenland, Iceland and Switzerland, and enable dogs to avoid quarantine provided they have been microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.

But according to groups like the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA, puppies, often kept in horrific conditions, are being brought into the UK on fraudulent passports to be sold as pets to unsuspecting buyers.

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Media captionAnimal sentience: Social media reaction to fake news claims

They say the number of dogs coming to the UK under the scheme is increasing year on year and the number from Central and Eastern Europe has “rocketed” recently.

The government says it is aware of abuse of the system in some EU countries, with vets signing pet passports without the necessary checks and vaccinations.

Is it actually about Brexit?

Not entirely, according to some campaigners. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare says Brexit alone won’t stop puppy smuggling and the forging of documents. Better enforcement at ports and tighter licensing rules are needed, it says.

But the UK leaving the EU, which is responsible for the laws governing the transport of pets around Europe, is seen as a chance to make changes.

Charities have already tabled a list of demands for the UK’s departure in 2019.

According to the Dogs Trust, “exiting the EU presents a crucial opportunity to review and amend legal requirements which could not previously be changed by the UK alone”.

It says the government should impose other more stringent requirements on dogs coming into the UK – like requiring a rabies test before they arrive.

The RSPCA has a similar wish list and wants the number of dogs that can be imported per person, currently five, to be reduced.

Last year a committee of MPs urged the government to demand reform of the pet passport scheme in the Brexit negotiations.

They said the age at which dogs are allowed to enter the UK should be increased to six months from the 15 weeks set out under the EU scheme.

The government says it is already working hard to tackle puppy smuggling – including on licensing and public awareness – and while it promises more action after Brexit, nothing specific has been announced yet.

Brexit negotiations are currently taking place, and – as with many other elements of the EU – we don’t yet know exactly what involvement the UK will have with the pet passport scheme in years to come.

If nothing is agreed, ministers will have the option of setting up their own system once EU law no longer applies.

It’s worth noting that any toughening of the pet visa rules aimed at curbing smuggling could make it harder for people to take their pets to Europe and back – which might be less popular.

What does the EU say?

Much of the debate about smuggling is a criticism of the EU’s pet transport scheme.

As well as the UK campaign around Brexit, Europe-wide campaigners say a pan-EU crackdown is needed, with tougher checks at borders, visual inspection of puppies and a tightening of the pet passport requirements.

Asked about concerns its pet passport system is being abused and leading to puppies being smuggled, the European Commission’s response suggested the member states themselves carried responsibility.

The national governments need to develop the “necessary tools and procedures” to test dogs being brought into their countries, to inform people of the risks of smuggling animals and to set penalties, it said.

However it did say it say it was “aware of the challenges” of organising the required checks across borders, in particular animals being disguised as family pets only to be sold commercially.

It said it had helped by training veterinary and customs officials and made it easier for countries to share intelligence about fraud.

We’ll know more about how the UK will act as the Brexit negotiations move forward – the EU says puppy smuggling has not yet been raised by the UK in talks so far.


How to avoid purchasing illegal pups

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Ask to see the mother and pup together
  • Visit the new pup, at its home, more than once and get paperwork before taking it home
  • Take new puppies for a veterinary health check immediately
  • Do not buy from anyone who can supply various breeds on demand
  • Do not to buy a puppy that looks underweight, or feel pressured into buying

Source: The Dogs Trust

UK interest rates kept on hold at 0.5%

Bank of EnglandImage copyright Reuters

The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold in its first meeting since last month’s decision to raise rates for the first time in 10 years.

Members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.5%.

At its November meeting the MPC raised rates from the record low of 0.25%, citing record-low unemployment, rising inflation and stronger global growth.

It also indicated there would be two more rises over the next three years.

In the minutes from its latest meeting, the Bank said “modest” increases in interest rates would be needed over the next few years, but repeated previous promises that those rises would be “gradual and to a limited extent”.

Higher interest rates have a big impact on the economy.

Of the 8.1 million households with a mortgage, 3.7 million – or 46% – are on either a standard variable rate or a tracker rate – which usually move in line with the official bank rate.

A move higher can also give savers a lift as High Street banks generally have to raise their rates of interest.

Since their last meeting, members of the MPC have assessed the potential impact of the November’s Autumn Budget.

They believe it will lift the level of GDP by 0.3% by 2020, as Chancellor Philip Hammond eased up on austerity measures.

In the minutes from its latest meeting, the MPC repeated its view that inflation was “likely to be close to its peak”.

On Tuesday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index hit 3.1% in November, the highest rate in nearly six years.

That rise above 3% means Bank of England governor Mark Carney has to write to the government and explain why inflation is so far above the target of 2%.

That letter will be revealed along with the Bank’s next Quarterly Inflation report, next February.

The Bank argues that the main reason behind rising inflation has been the decline in value of the pound, which fell sharply in June last year when the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Although the pound has recovered in recent months, it is still about 10% lower against the dollar and the euro, which makes imported goods, food and raw materials more expensive.

The pound was given a boost last week when the European Union agreed that sufficient progress had been made in Brexit negotiations to allow them to progress to the next stage and to put a transition period in place.

The Bank said those developments “would reduce the likelihood of a disorderly exit, and was likely to support household and corporate confidence”.

However, it said the reaction of households, businesses and markets to developments on Brexit talks “remain the most significant influence on, and source of uncertainty about, the economic outlook”.

May heads to Brussels after EU vote loss

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Media captionThere were cheers from the opposition benches as the result was announced

The prime minister is due in Brussels on Thursday, hours after Conservative rebels in the Commons defeated the government in a key Brexit vote.

MPs backed an amendment giving them a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels.

One rebel, Stephen Hammond, was sacked by Theresa May as Conservative vice chairman in the aftermath of the vote.

Other EU member states could decide to move forward to trade talks with the UK at their two-day summit.

The negotiations are first expected to focus on agreeing a temporary arrangement that will kick in as soon as the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

On the eve of the summit, Mrs May suffered her first Commons defeat as prime minister by just four votes, as MPs backed an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill by 309 to 305.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was a “humiliating loss of authority” for the prime minister.

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Media captionIs it game over for Brexit?

Unless it is overturned by the government at a later stage, it means MPs will get to vote on the final deal reached with Brussels before it is ratified.

The government had previously offered a vote. But critics wanted a guarantee that this would be “meaningful”, claiming the bill gave ministers the power to bypass Parliament in implementing the withdrawal agreement.

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Media caption“I’m in parliament to do my duty by my constituents and by my country” said Tory rebel Dominic Grieve

Dominic Grieve MP, who tabled the amendment, said the bill “couldn’t be allowed to stay in the condition it was in”.

The former attorney general, told BBC One’s Newsnight: “The right thing is carrying out Brexit in an orderly, sensible way, which has a proper process to it.”

He said Parliament’s ability to interfere with Brexit negotiations was “limited”, adding: “I’ve been studious in not trying to interfere with the government’s negotiating strategy, I’ve hardly asked a question.”

The government said in a statement: “We are disappointed that Parliament has voted for this amendment despite the strong assurances that we have set out.

“We are as clear as ever that this Bill, and the powers within it, are essential.

“This amendment does not prevent us from preparing our statute book for exit day. We will now determine whether further changes are needed to the Bill to ensure it fulfils its vital purpose.”

Speaking after the vote, ministers said the “minor setback” would not prevent the UK leaving the EU in 2019.


What does it mean?

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

It’s the first time that Theresa May has been defeated on her own business in the Commons. She has to front-up in Brussels tomorrow with other EU leaders only hours after an embarrassing loss in Parliament.

Beyond the red faces in government tonight, does it really matter? Ministers tonight are divided on that. Two cabinet ministers have told me while it’s disappointing, it doesn’t really matter in the big picture.

It’s certainly true that the Tory party is so divided over how we leave the EU that the Parliamentary process was always going to be very, very choppy.

But another minister told me the defeat is “bad for Brexit” and was openly frustrated and worried about their colleagues’ behaviour.

Read the rest of Laura’s blog


The EU Withdrawal Bill is a key part of the government’s exit strategy.

Its effects include ending the supremacy of EU law and copying existing EU law into UK law, so the same rules and regulations apply on Brexit day.

MPs have been making hundreds of attempts to change its wording – but this is the first time one has succeeded.

Unless the government manages to overturn it further down the line, it means a new Act of Parliament will have to be passed before ministers can implement the withdrawal deal struck with Brussels.

Ministers had made several efforts to placate the Conservative rebels, and argued that Mr Grieve’s amendment would put unnecessary time pressure on the government if talks with the EU continued until the last minute.

And minutes before the vote, they offered a last-minute promise of action at a later stage of the bill’s journey through Parliament.

Some Conservatives said this had changed their minds. But Mr Grieve said it was “too late”.

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Image caption During the debate Conservative MPs from both sides of the Brexit debate clashed

There was an often heated debate in the Chamber before the crunch vote on the amendment.

Critics said the rebels were trying to “frustrate” Brexit and tie the government’s hands.

After the result was announced, one of the rebels, former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, tweeted: “Tonight Parliament took control of the EU Withdrawal process.”

But other Conservative MPs reacted angrily, with one, Nadine Dorries, saying the rebels should be deselected.

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The Tory rebels were Mr Grieve, Heidi Allen, Ken Clarke, Jonathan Djanogly, Stephen Hammond, Sir Oliver Heald, Nicky Morgan, Bob Neill, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston.

Another Conservative MP, John Stevenson, abstained by voting in both lobbies.

Two Labour MPs, Frank Field and Kate Hoey, voted with the government.