Tory rebels triumph as Government loses key Brexit vote
Tory rebels led the Government to defeat in the Commons tonight in the latest stage of the Brexit bill.
Conservative backbencher Dominic Grieve's 'amendment 7' was designed to give MPs a binding decision on the terms of Brexit – with the potential to delay withdrawal if no satisfactory deal is reached.
It had been backed by Labour and a number of Tory MPs, including Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy, Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke.
MPs voted 309-305 to pass the amendment.
Earlier, Theresa May had said defeat would put 'a smooth and orderly withdrawal' from the EU in jeopardy.
The amendment proposes to change the bill so the Government will be unable to implement the agreement it reaches with the EU unless MPs give the go ahead through a new Act of Parliament.
Mrs May had insisted that MPs would get a 'meaningful vote' on the final deal, which she said would take place well before the March 2019 withdrawal date.
A Government spokeswoman said: "We are disappointed that Parliament has voted for this amendment despite the strong assurances that we have set out.
"We are as clear as ever that this Bill, and the powers within it, are essential.
"This amendment does not prevent us from preparing our statute book for exit day. We will now determine whether further changes are needed to the Bill to ensure it fulfils its vital purpose."
The vote marked the Prime Minister's first defeat in the Commons.