DUP to back Theresa May over Brexit amendments

Theresa May addresses the final news conference of the G7 summit in Quebec Canada

Theresa May addresses the final news conference of the G7 summit in Quebec Canada

Depriving parliament of a vote on the withdrawal deal 'would be something we would rightly criticised if it happened elsewhere, ' Lee said.

"It's more than just about party unity, this is about the national interest".

"The main reason for my taking this decision now is the Brexit process and the Government's wish to limit Parliament's role in contributing to the final outcome in a vote that takes place today", he said.

It followed a meeting of the backbench 1922 committee this evening ahead of a series of crunch Commons votes in which Mrs May told MPs to consider the signal that would be sent to Brussels if the government was defeated.

The plea came as the EU (Withdrawal) Bill returns to the Commons tomorrow with ministers seeking to overturn a raft of amendments by the House of Lords meant to keep Britain close to the EU after Brexit.

"I believe that the evidence now shows that the Brexit policy our Government is currently pursuing on the basis of the 2016 referendum is detrimental to the people we are elected to serve", he said.

Mrs May can count on the support of the 10 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MPs - secured as part of the confidence and supply deal - but not some Tory backbenchers who voted to remain.

Earlier this year, Mr Lee had called on the government to release its economic impact assessments of Brexit and suggested the government change tack in talks with the EU.

The government is most vulnerable on the issue of a "meaningful vote".

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston said on Monday morning she was "minded" to defy party orders and back the meaningful vote amendment. This means MPs and Lords could tell May to go back to negotiating table and get something better.

In a statement on his website, Lee, a former GP, said it seemed inevitable that the "people, economy and culture of my constituency will be affected negatively" by leaving the European Union, and he called on the government to give the country another referendum on the final Brexit deal.

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the European Union, direct from Business Insider's political reporters.

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