Brexit rebels warned by top Tories they will damage national interests

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    ‘You will DAMAGE Britain’ Top Tories issue furious warnings to Brexit rebels

    REBEL MPs and peers were last night warned that a parliamentary revolt to delay Theresa May’s Brexit plans could weaken Britain’s position in the forthcoming EU negotiations.

    Tory rebels are expected to join with Labour and Lib Dem MPs tomorrow to defeat the Government for a second time over the Prime Minister’s EU withdrawal Bill.

    They plan to amend the legislation to force a “meaningful vote” in Parliament on any final EU departure deal.

    A backbench rebellion was also understood to be growing in the Commons with some Tory MPs ready to vote against the Government to uphold a Lords’ amendment to the Bill guaranteeing the rights of more than three million EU citizens to stay in the country after Brexit.

    Commons Leader David Lidington yesterday insisted that attempts to tamper with the legislation could undermine hopes of agreeing a favourable trade deal with the EU.

    He told the BBC1 Sunday Politics show: “Parliament will get the chance to vote on the deal.

    “Any idea that the PM’s freedom to negotiation is limited, any idea that if the EU 27 were to play hardball that somehow means that Parliament would try to reverse the referendum verdicts, and to set aside the views of the British people, that would almost guarantee that it would be much more difficult to get the sort of ambitious, mutually beneficial deal for us and for the EU 27 that we want.”

    Former Tory chancellor Lord Lamont today warns in a speech that parliamentary delays could hurt the UK’s “national interests” in the negotiations.

    “Alterations to the Bill… will only complicate the task of the negotiators and undermine the national interest,” he will say.

    Anti-Brexit MPs and peers are today expected to seize on a Lords report claiming that ending free movement for EU citizens to come to the UK may not help cut immigration.

    The report from the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, published last night, said: “The restoration of national control over EU migration may or may not deliver a reduction in overall net migration.”

    Migration from outside the EU was higher than that from within the bloc until June 2016, despite the national border controls already in force, the report said.

    Evidence for assessing the impact of ending free movement was so far “unreliable”, it added.

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