Tory rebellions against May’s Brexit plans ‘could bring down government’

Theresa May

Tory rebels against Theresa May’s Brexit plans could ultimately collapse the government, Dominic Grieve has said, ahead of another key week in parliament over the EU withdrawal bill.

Grieve, the former attorney general, has said he objects to a government amendment to the bill which would limit the power of MPs in shaping policy if parliament rejects a final Brexit bill.

Asked if voting against the government could eventually bring it down, Grieve said: “We could collapse the government.” He told BBC One’s Sunday Politics: “And I can assure you I wake up at 2am in a cold sweat thinking about the problems that we have put on our shoulders. The difficulty is that the Brexit process is inherently risky.”

Grieve, who has drafted his own amendment that would give MPs more scope in directing ministers in the possible event of a likely no-deal Brexit, later clarified to the Press Association that his comments referred to a future vote on a deal, rather than next week’s events.

The ping-pong process of the withdrawal bill between the two houses of parliament returns to the Lords on Monday, when peers are expected to reject the amendment drafted by May and her team, and insert one modelled more closely on Grieve’s idea.

On Wednesday, the amendments will return again to the Commons, where May faces the possibility of defeat over a meaningful vote.

A series of Conservative rebels pulled back from voting against the government last week after the PM promised to listen to their concerns, but then said they felt let down by the eventual government amendment…

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