LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May today survived a brewing rebellion within her own Conservative party ranks to win a crucial Brexit vote in Parliament.
The vote over Parliament's role in the event of a no-deal Brexit agreement in the House of Commons went in favour of the UK government by 319 votes to 303. It came after ministers agreed the Speaker would be able to decide if MPs had the power to amend a motion on what to do if there is no agreement with the European Union (EU).
The government has been at loggerheads with the House of Lords in the long-running row over what happens if the UK cannot reach a deal with the EU, or if MPs reject whatever deal the government agrees with the EU on Brexit day March 29, 2019.
Changes to the EU Withdrawal Bill put forward by the Lords would give MPs a greater say in these scenarios. The Commons vote had been expected to be tight, with a chunk of Tory MPs agreeing with the Lords' position.
Opposition Labour was still urging its MPs to support the Lords' amendment, describing it as the "last chance" for Parliament to guard against "a no-deal Brexit" which it says would damage the economy.
But the government stressed giving Parliament the power to intervene in negotiations would bind May's hands in the talks.
The Conservatives do not have a majority in the House of Commons, and ministers were hoping Tory MPs unhappy at what has been offered so far do not decide to rebel and vote with the Opposition.