British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a knife-edge vote in parliament on June 12 on her centrepiece Brexit legislation, despite her last-minute warning that defeat risks undermining her negotiations with Brussels.
It will be the first major test after the upper house, the House of Lords, introduced 15 major changes to her Brexit blueprint, the EU Withdrawal Bill, including that on the "meaningful vote".
Or perhaps, this is in fact the completely predictable agony of split political parties, with leaders who struggle to command their troops, just trying to make it through after a huge vote that by its very nature, split the country in two. May cranked up when a pro-E.U. This might convince some wavering "rebels" to back the government in order to save May and prevent Boris Johnson, the current foreign secretary and a leading so-called "Brexiteer", from seeking to replace her.
Setting out the approach for a customs union and "full access to the internal market" which would be "underpinned by shared institutions and shared regulations", he said: "That's the type of deal either this government will be forced to enter into or a Labour government will implement".
But critics say it would require the United Kingdom to adhere to European Union rules without having a say in them - and would not be in keeping with the spirit of the 2016 referendum result.
He added: "We understand the problems of trust there are at the moment with regard to how the Labour Party has operated in the past and, to be honest, how we have been depicted in some of the media at the moment".
May, who leads a minority government propped up by the small Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), conceded that "we need parliamentary support" to implement Brexit.
Nick said: "You were told what to do, why won't you do it?"
The E.U. (Withdrawal) Bill is the draft law that would set the legal framework for Brexit and Ms.
However, a fluctuating group of between six and 15 Conservative MPs including Dominic Grieve have frustrated the government's efforts to withdraw the United Kingdom from the institutions that make up the European Union. May was fatally damaged by defeat, it could open the way for a hardline Brexiteer to take over the party and thereby the premiership.
Before the vote, she assured lawmakers she would honour her promise and deal with the "concerns raised about the role of parliament in relation to the Brexit process".
Mr. Lee resigned from the Ministry of Justice to back the amendment, saying parliament should be able to direct the government to change course.
This evening, I have resigned as Shadow Defence PPS to vote in favour of the Lords EEA amendment.
"A vote between bad and worse is not a meaningful vote".
The Government's compromise is that a minister would come to the House within 28 days of a deal being rejected to tell MPs what will happen next, but an amendment tabled by former attorney general Dominic Grieve would insist on a binding Commons motion.
Dr Lee's shock departure came as Brexit Secretary David Davis warned potential Tory rebels that they can not undo the European Union referendum, ahead of a tricky 48 hours in which the Government will try to get its Brexit programme back on track.
Attempts to keep the United Kingdom in the European Economic Area after Brexit have been defeated in the House of Commons, amid a major Labour revolt over the issue.