Brexit: Prime Minister agrees to Remainer rebel MPs' demands for meaningful vote on withdrawal deal in February

 
Catherine Neilan
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The amendment is expected to be published this afternoon (Source: Getty)

Update: The victory rebel MPs thought they had secured has collapsed, after a last-minute change rendered the amendment "unacceptable". Read the full story here.

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."

Arch Remainer Anna Soubry tweeted: "Dominic Grieve should be hailed a hero for what he has achieved for democracy. Deal or no deal Parliament will have a meaningful vote and to be clear there will be no hard Brexit when the EU Withdrawal Bill is passed."

However, there is a question-mark still over the exact wording of amendment amid fears it may be phrased in such a way as to upset rebels after all.

The clause - based on one put forward by former attorney general 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.

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