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U.K. Minister Phillip Lee Resigns Ahead of Brexit Bill Showdown

U.K. Minister Phillip Lee Resigns Ahead of Brexit Bill Showdown

MPs are preparing for a two-day debate on the legislation to leave the EU. This particular amendment-backed by "rebel" members of May's Conservative party and some opposition lawmakers-would give lawmakers a greater spread of choices.

In Tuesday's key vote, the government headed off a potential Conservative backbench rebellion and the vote passed by 324 votes to 298. May's preferred approach is temporarily keeping the U.K.in some form of temporary customs union with the E.U., but this is unacceptable to hardline Brexiteers in her party.

MPs were told that one parliamentarian had to be accompanied to a public meeting by a six armed police officers because of threats over their stance on Brexit.

Addressing Conservative backbenchers in Westminster on Monday evening, the Prime Minister warned if a series of Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill are approved by MPs, it will send the wrong message to Brussels.

The debates on Lords amendments to the Brexit Bill were hampered by the amount of time taken to vote, also cutting into the time for discussion of the power grab on Scotland's devolved powers.

Lee said that within government he "found it virtually impossible to help bring sufficient change to the course on which we are bound". That clause - drafted by Grieve - basically hands a lot of power to Parliament if no deal has been agreed by the end of November.

And to avoid a sudden "cliff edge" on Brexit day, 29 March 2019, it would also convert existing European Union law into United Kingdom law so the government and Parliament can decide at a later date which bits they want to keep or change.

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Britain's Secretary of State for Departing the EU David Davis leaves 10 Downing Street in London, June 7, 2018.

Ministers had initially refused to even consider Grieve's amendment but moved to accept it at least in part, after whips signaled that the government were likely to lose in the Commons.

In the months that followed, May struggled to assert her authority over her party and government, with a string of ministers resigning from the Cabinet and disunity over Brexit among those who remained around her top table.

Ministers had instead suggested an amendment meaning that ministers should have 28 days before having to come to the Commons with a back-up plan, and would then make a statement setting out how the government proposed to proceed.

Philip Lee MP told colleagues that he had been forced to stand down in order to prevent the government from taking actions that would be "detrimental" to his constituents.

In extraordinary scenes in the House of Commons, May was understood to have seen more than a dozen Tory rebels in her office minutes before voting started, during which she gave them a personal assurance that she would agree to the broad thrust of their proposals and amend the bill in the Lords.