Rebel, rebel: Tory Remainers secure victory on Brexit deal
Conservative rebel MPs appear to have secured victory over the meaningful vote amendment, with the Prime Minister reported to have agreed to her backbenchers' demands.
One source close to the discussions told City A.M. an agreement had been reached between the two sides, which would be made clear in a government amendment being tabled this afternoon.
The source said it would say: "If there is no deal by February 16 then parliament will have meaningful vote in that event to avert, if it so chooses, a no deal.
"Either way, parliament will decide what happens next."
However, there is a question-mark still over exactly what MPs would be able to vote on.
This clause – based on a component of an amendment put forward by Dominic Grieve earlier this week – is disliked by Brexiters and had previously been ruled out by the Prime Minister's own spokesman, who indicated that such a vote would bind the government's hands in talks. .
But rebel Tories had gave Theresa May their backing during Tuesday's high stakes votes on the EU Withdrawal Bill on the basis of concessions that included at the very least discussions on the topic. When officials started to downplay the likelihood of that taking place, those who had received personal assurances from the Prime Minister threatened to pull support.
It puts more pressure on May to secure a deal that will be palatable to parliament, which leans more towards a soft Brexit than the Cabinet, where Brexiters such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove continue to exert much influence.
And it's not just Brexit that is at stake: influential backbencher Tom Tugendhat this morning noted that if May lost the meaningful vote her government would collapse.