In Brexit showdown, British PM Theresa May faces issue of ‘meaningful vote’

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The resignation of Phillip Lee could spell trouble for the British government, which wants the country's lawmakers to approve its strategy for withdrawal from the European Union.

The amendment's failure heads off an imminent threat to the stability of the government and may support Sterling over the medium term if the forthcoming discussions do as some analysts think it will and hampers the government's efforst to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union. "If the Lords amendments are allowed to stand, that negotiating position will be undermined", she told them, adding that she was confident that "I can get a deal that allows us to strike our own trade deals while having a border with the European Union which is as frictionless as possible". On Wednesday evening another private parliamentary secretary, Rosie Duffield (who won the seat of Canterbury in 2017's most shocking result), resigned in order to back EEA membership.

Earlier May suffered a setback when junior justice minister Phillip Lee, who has always been critical of Brexit strategy, resigned and said he would vote against the government.

May's fragile government will be trying to defeat a rebellion by pro-EU lawmakers and reverse changes to its key piece of Brexit legislation as the matter comes before the House of Commons for two days of debate.

The amendment in question hinges on whether lawmakers will get a "meaningful" vote on Britain's membership of the European Union. "There are choices that we face, there are trade- offs that we have to accept". It meant that the United Kingdom government successfully defeated the Lords amendment, 324 to 298, to the dismay of Labour and other opposition parties. "I'll vote for the EEA amendment because we need to keep our options open", he told lawmakers.

Prime Minister Theresa May isn't the only United Kingdom political leader with a party that's divided and increasingly belligerent over Europe.

Government sources signalled to the Press Association that ministers were set to back the move.

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The votes of opposition lawmakers will also be important.

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.

Setting out the approach for a customs union and "full access to the internal market" which would be "underpinned by shared institutions and shared regulations", he said: "That's the type of deal either this government will be forced to enter into or a Labour government will implement".

What do the newspapers say about the votes?

Attention has focused on June 12 on the so-called "meaningful vote" amendment, which would give parliament the power to decide what to do if it rejects the final Brexit deal. But pro-EU lawmakers warned they could rebel again if the promise was not met. The Daily Express thundered: "Ignore the will of the people at your peril". It also attacked the unelected nature of the House of Lords (which traditionally scrutinizes laws passed to it by the elected lower chamber), linking it to a perceived attempt to frustrate the Brexit process.

Talks with Brussels have stalled over the fraught issue of the Irish border, but both sides are hoping to agree a deal by October in time for the Brexit date of March 29, 2019.

The land border, which separates European Union member state Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom, now has no checks on people or goods crossing from side to side.

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