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The lesson of today's government climbdown: we're likely heading for soft Brexit

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GETTYThe furious Brexit Secretary agreed with Steve Baker and Suella Braverman to form a pact

But they face a revolt by pro-EU Tory MPs determined to retain as numerous changes as possible in the legislation.

Ahead of a series of crucial votes in the House of Commons today for Theresa May's government on the issue Mr Howlin called on the Irish Government to make a clear statement on what it "will do in the event that we simply drift into the inevitability of a hard exit of Britain from the European Union".

The House of Commons rejected the "meaningful vote" amendment to the withdrawal bill by a majority of 26, with 324 votes against the amendment, and 298 in favour of it.

The government would not have sought a deal if it thought it had the votes to win, and they clearly blinked.

However, leading Brexiteer Tory MPs and ministers have suggested May had only agreed to further discussions on supporting Tory rebel Dominic Grieve's amendment.

The Conservative backbencher revealed that six undercover police officers gave protection to an MP on a public engagement amid claims that threats were influencing Brexit votes.

A section of Labour MPs are expected to defy the official party position and vote in favor of a Lords amendment to keep the United Kingdom in a Norway-style trading arrangement, better known as the European Economic Area (EEA), post-Brexit.

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Those demanding a compromise from the government on Mr Grieve's amendment sent a warning to Mrs May as they immediately challenged Downing Street's position on clause c.

"We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the government's hands in the negotiations".

The government will face an nearly certain defeat if it now reneges on a promise to give MPs more of a say over the final Brexit deal. The strength of this commitment is yet to be seen in writing - and the Brexit department is still insisting it has not given up control of the negotiations - but the anti-Brexit rebels showed they have the numbers to force a defeat should the government renege on its pledge.

"Grieve's amendment puts that right and in a way Govt could and should accept it".

A third development, which would allow MPs to direct the government on future talks if there is no resolution on the withdrawal agreement by 15 February, is also on the cards.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces another day of Brexit compromise at Westminster.

"Where some of its most senior people who hold the greatest offices of state, at every twist and turn, when our Prime Minister moves towards securing a Brexit that will serve everybody in our country, the softest, most sensible Brexit, both publicly and privately they undermine her and scupper her attempts".

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