Theresa May sees off Brexit rebellion with last-minute concession

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May faced rebellion last week from pro-EU Conservative legislators, but avoided defeat by promising Parliament would get a "meaningful vote" on the U.K. -EU divorce agreement before Brexit occurs next March.

Over 22 Conservatives reportedly voted against May's government.

Winning the vote is a huge relief for the prime minister, who has struggled to maintain her authority over a deeply divided government.

He said the government had "to be able to hold out in our negotiations the prospect of no deal" otherwise the European Union would get the upper hand.

Speaking at a reception hosted in Westminster by think tank Policy Exchange, Mrs May said: "With the Withdrawal Bill on its way to the statute book, it is time to unite as a country and as a party and focus on getting the very best Brexit deal for Britain.

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This is an important step in the realization of a peaceful and orderly withdrawal from the European Union, voted by the people", said may.

The Hailsham amendment, dubbed "Grieve 2" by the peer, was tabled after Mr Grieve warned the Tory rebels could "collapse" the Government if they disagreed with the final outcome of withdrawal talks.

Some of her opponents on Brexit may simply have chose to save their energy for later fights on issues such as future trading ties and customs arrangements with the bloc before Britain's scheduled departure in March next year. "My biggest worry about Brexit is that I don't know what we are planning for", Juergen Maier, the UK CEO of German engineering giant Siemens told Reuters in an interview.

PM Theresa May faces a showdown with rebels in her Conservative party after refusing to accept demands for parliament to have a "meaningful vote" on Brexit.

But the government tried to ease Grieve's and others' concerns in a statement that said it was up to the parliamentary speaker to grant lawmakers greater influence over the future action of ministers if there was no deal.

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As a crucial Brexit battle comes to a head in the British parliament on Wednesday, MPs are weighing not just their own views but also their personal safety amid increasingly toxic public debate.

Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson came into parliament to vote even though she is several days past the date she was due to give birth.

The Lib Dems said the "so-called Tory rebels" had "lost their bottle and caved into yet another pathetic government compromise that isn't worth the paper it is written on", while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the concession was a "fudge". Relationships between MPs had been "strained nearly beyond belief", she said.

The government has condemned the threats or intimidation, but many of its supporters in parliament use inflammatory language, accusing rebels of trying to "sabotage" Brexit.

Prominent Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg has insisted the concession promised by Theresa May to head off a revolt by pro-EU Tories did no more than restate existing parliamentary rules.

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