People are flipping a famous Vote Leave catchphrase following the Government’s Brexit Bill defeat

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MPs say they’ve “taken back control” of Parliament.

Michael Gove (left) and Boris Johnson hold a press conference at Brexit HQ in Westminster (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Theresa May’s Government has suffered a humiliating loss in Parliament as around a dozen Tory MPs voted with the Opposition to ensure a “meaningful vote” on any Brexit deal.

Tory rebels rallied around ringleader Dominic Grieve, whose amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill squeezed through the Commons on a majority of four.

Delighted Remainers have now co-opted one of Vote Leave’s best-known catchphrases from the Referendum campaign to claim they’ve “taken back control” of Parliament.

Brexiteers said leaving the EU would give the UK a chance to “take back control” of its borders and its laws, with no more meddling from Brussels.

It wasn’t just Labour MPs tweeting the phrase either – former education secretary Nicky Morgan did the same following the vote.


MPs approved the amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill by 309 votes to 305.

Conservative former attorney general Grieve led the rebellion via his amendment seven, which would require any Brexit deal to be approved by a separate act of Parliament before it could be implemented.

Minutes before the vote, Justice minister Dominic Raab sought to appease would-be rebels by saying the Government would rewrite the Bill to guarantee concessions it had offered but was faced with shouts of “too late” by some MPs on his side.

In the end, 11 Tories voted against, including Conservative party vice chairman Stephen Hammond, who has since been sacked from his role.


Remainers are adamant that this is what Leave voters wanted.

Prominent Tory rebel Anna Soubry told Sky News: “Nobody takes any pleasure and certainly I don’t when the Government loses a vote, these are important things.

“But this was a really important moment because it was about actually delivering what the Government said it wanted to do, which was to have a meaningful vote in this place.

“The truth is Parliament has been excluded from the whole of the Brexit process and now we’re back in the frame, and that means we can represent all our voters.”

Some Tory MPs used Twitter to call out their colleagues, with Michael Fabricant saying the vote’s result showed “no respect” to the referendum.

Nadine Dorries, who said she’d “been a rebel myself, but never when a Marxist government was knocking at the door”, called for MPs to be deselected.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Today the European Parliament voted to move on to the next phase of talks in our departure from the European Union and tomorrow the Prime Minister will be attending European Council in Brussels, working towards the deep and special partnership we all want to see.

“We respect the will of the House and will continue to focus on preparing the country to leave the EU in March 2019.”

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