Brexit: MPs reject bid to stay in EEA amid Labour revolt

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Facing the prospect of losing a vote on a crucial amendment to the government's flagship Brexit legislation - which was created to empower parliament to vote down the final deal without risking a "no-deal" exit from the bloc - ministers intervened with a concession at the 11th hour even as MPs were wrapping up debate on the controversial measure.

But Britain - and its government - remain divided over Brexit, and European Union leaders are frustrated with what they see as a lack of firm proposals from the U.K about future relations. "I'll vote for the EEA amendment because we need to keep our options open", he told lawmakers.

LONDON - Theresa May avoided defeats on key pillars of her Brexit policy after a majority of MPs voted with the United Kingdom government to defeat a number of amendments on Wednesday evening.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland promised to discuss incorporating concerns raised by former attorney general and rebel Dominic Grieve.

74 Labour MPs rebelled to vote against disagreeing with the Lords EEA amendment and 15 rebelled to vote with the Government in agreeing to reject the Lords EEA amendment.

Remaining in the EEA - basically staying in the single market and accepting EU's rules - would force Britain to accept European Union immigrants, he said, and that's why many people voted to leave the bloc.

Even before debate got underway, Brexit sparked drama in the House of Commons Wednesday, with Scottish National Party lawmakers walking out to protest the short amount of time given to debate Scotland-related issues on Tuesday - 20 minutes out of a six-hour session.

Brexit, the withdrawal the United Kingdom from the European Union, was decided by referendum in June 2016.

Nick said: "You were told what to do, why won't you do it?"

Mr. Lee resigned from the Ministry of Justice to back the amendment, saying parliament should be able to direct the government to change course. "And I can not bring myself to vote for it in the bastion of liberty, freedom and human rights that is our Parliament".

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Grieve proposed the government be forced to seek parliamentary approval for its strategy if it has not agreed a Brexit deal by the end of November.

But, to the disappointment of some of pro-European MPs, Downing Street rejected a second plan that would allow parliament to step in if no deal were reached by February.

He confirmed that ministers will seek to overturn 14 amendments which he said would undermine the goal of the Bill and fail to respect the result of the 2016 referendum.

"I understand the difficulties MPs representing constituencies which voted strongly for Leave or Remain have on the EEA amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill".

Britain's future trading and customs arrangements after Brexit have become a lightning rod for divisions that have not only plagued May's Conservative Party but also in the Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn wrote in a statement: 'I would like to thank Laura, Ged, Ellie, Tonia and Anna for their work with the Labour frontbench.

Despite the defeats, MPs will debate the customs union and single market again in the coming weeks, when pro-European Conservatives are seeking to amend two other bills.

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in Parliament, called the situation "a democratic outrage".

The SNP argues the bill would see London take back powers from Brussels that should by rights go to Edinburgh.

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