The Tory MP secured a parliamentary victory on Tuesday when he re-proposed an amendment to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement that will allow Parliament to continue to debate even after- and if – Theresa May’s deal is voted down by the House of Commons on December 11. But the quick victory could completely backfire on him and other Remainers in the House as the amendment could remove a no-deal scenario from the table forcing arch-Brexiteers to vote in favour of the Prime Minister’s deal to avoid Brexit being stopped altogether.
As he presented his motion to the House, Mr Grieve said: “The House will recall that back in last June issues arose about how the House should proceed in the event of the Government’s motion being rejected.
“That time my Rt. Honourable friend the Prime Minister presented to me that if the motion were tone made amendable- the motion to be considered thereafter – it would in some way interfere with her ability to negotiate.
“Which is why having reflected on her view I took the decision to vote against my own amendment when it was presented to this House because I listened to what she had to say to me.
“But the reality remains that we have an unsatisfactory procedure to resolve differences of opinion in this House, if and obviously, it’s an if, we come to a point where the Government does not succeed on its motion and the opportunity exists this afternoon to cure that anomaly.
“And as was so rightly said by the speaker for the opposition, it is contrary to all sensible practice and I have to say slightly disrespectful of the role of this House, that we should end up with a situation in which we have unamendable motions for consideration at a time when Parliament ought to be fully focused on trying to find means of resolving outstanding issues.
“And it’s for that reason that I put forward this amendment which would in very simple terms cure that problem and provide reassurance even before we start on these really important debates, that whatever the outcome next week we have a means of continuing the debate thereafter if we need to in a way that must be in conformity with what any right-thinking member of this House would think to be the proper procedure and process to adopt.”
The amendment sought to allow Parliament to have more of a say on Brexit plans if the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement is rejected by MPs. It was approved by 321 votes to 299, majority 22.
Twenty-five Conservative MPs rebelled to support Tory former minister Dominic Grieve’s amendment designed to give Parliament a greater say on Brexit plans if the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement is rejected next week, according to the division list.
Four Labour MPs voted against the amendment. Following the vote, the Prime Minister said the Brexit debate had been “corrosive to our politics”.
She added: “What I believe is important is that we respect the views of those who voted Leave and deliver Brexit, but we also recognise that we do need to protect the trading relationship and ensure that we protect the jobs that rely on that trading relationship.”
Tory MP Anne Marie Morris Newton Abbot earlier intervened on Mrs May to suggest her deal would mean the UK would be “stuck with the same rule base that we have in the EU”.
Mrs May responded by saying: “I don’t agree with the analysis that she’s just given in relation to the agreement.”