THERESA MAY suffered another humiliating Brexit blow as her government was defeated in Parliament for the first time.
Ahead of a trip to Brussels today, the prime minister saw 11 of her MPs vote against the government to inflict a surprise defeat which underlines her fragile position.
MPs narrowly voted 309-305 in favour of giving Parliament a “meaningful” final say on the Brexit deal, before the government agrees terms in March 2019.
During a dramatic day in parliament, the government desperately tried to persuade MPs not to support Dominic Grieve’s amendment.
But despite concessions, Grieve announced it was “too late” and joined DUP, Labour and SNP politicians in voting against his government.
The 11 Tory rebels have since been branded treacherous by some in their own party and sections of the British press.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) December 13, 2017
One of the rebels, Stephen Hammond, was later sacked as vice-chair of the Conservative party.
The vote is unlikely to derail the Brexit process as experts believe MPs will not reject the government’s deal and risk Britain crashing out of the EU.
Many MPs reportedly expected the government to win the vote until the announcement was made to a noisy House of Commons.
It is the first time May has lost a vote that changes the law since she became prime minister 18 months ago.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “Today the European Parliament voted to move on to the next phase of talks in our departure from the European Union, and tomorrow the Prime Minister will be attending European Council in Brussels, working towards the deep and special partnership we all want to see.
“We respect the will of the House, and will continue to focus on preparing the country to leave the EU in March 2019.”