PM May Sees Off Rebellion on Customs Union as Amendment is Defeated

(From The Guardian)

Theresa May saw off a damaging Commons rebellion on Tuesday as Conservative remainers lost a high-stakes vote on the customs union, giving the prime minister some much-needed breathing space on Brexit before the summer break.

She avoided all-out Tory civil war and the wrath of the Eurosceptic wing of her party, which had threatened to launch a leadership challenge, when MPs defeated the proposal by six votes.

However, minutes earlier, May suffered her second ever Brexit defeat when the Commons, in an unexpected move, backed calls for the UK to remain under EU medicines regulation.

Just 24 hours earlier, the prime minister had caved in to hardline Tory Brexiters by accepting their amendments to the customs bill, infuriating remainer MPs and leaving Eurosceptics convinced they had killed off her Chequers plan.

Downing Street sources suggested, however, that the prime minister would be emboldened in her negotiations with Brussels by the result as it showed that she had the backing of parliament.

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