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

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I have to say I do feel a bit uneasy about what deal they have got because they seem very pleased with themselves.

These were the words of a minister expecting to win the vote.

It had become clear that, for all the cajoling by the Tory whips, and the appeals to loyalty to Theresa May, the government was likely to lose the vote.

During a frantic day of discussions between ministers and Conservative backbenchers, potential rebels were eventually persuaded to back down when Solicitor General Robert Buckland told MPs that ministers were willing to "engage positively" with their concerns.

Government sources confirmed ministers will now discuss the possible incorporation of these elements of Mr Grieve's proposals into the legislation.

However, despite backing down, pro-Remain Tories signalled they would not be easily consoled by a compromise offered by ministers.

This came after a last-minute resignation by the justice minister Dr Phillip Lee, who said he could no longer look his children in the eye and vote to support the government.

They reassured anti-Brexit MPs that the government would accept some of their core demands to give parliament a meaningful say on the terms of Britain's European Union divorce, including - potentially - a new deadline for a deal to be agreed with Brussels that could make it hard for the government.

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Due to the concessions offered, the details of which have not yet been fully revealed, two Conservative MPs - Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry - rebelled.

She also explained she was exhausted of MPs approaching her in "quiet and dark corridors", of British businesses who demand private meetings where they "lay bare their despair but refuse to go public", and those commentators who encourage her to keep going in the face of death threats.

It is thought that both the government and the Remainer group of Tory MPs consider the outcome to be a success. "We have to come back together and we have to do the right thing".

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

Earlier, Brexit minister David Davis told parliament a government defeat would undermine negotiations with Brussels and warned lawmakers the government would never allow them to "reverse Brexit".

Asked whether such concessions would nowAsked whether such concessions would hamper Britain's negotiating hand, Mr Grieve continued: "I disagree with that entirely".

Leading Conservative rebels welcomed the "important concessions" by the government, but insisted that ministers must follow through on their concession or face a defeat when the bill returns to the House of Commons later this month.

The government was putting a combative spin on the concessions Tuesday evening: "The Brexit Secretary has set out three tests that any new amendment has to meet - not undermining the negotiations, not changing the constitutional role of Parliament and Government in negotiating worldwide treaties, and respecting the referendum result", a spokesperson for the Brexit department said in a statement.

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