U.K. Government Said to Think It Can Win Key Brexit Vote

(Bloomberg) -- The government made an offer to anti-Brexit rebels it hopes will persuade them not to inflict a potentially damaging defeat over Prime Minister Theresa May’s flagship legislation.

It’s a proxy battle between those in May’s ruling Conservative Party who oppose Brexit and want the divorce from the European Union to be as friendly as possible, and those who are so keen to break free they’d accept walking away without a deal and the legal limbo that follows.

The argument between the two sides has focused on whether the motion the government puts to Parliament on the final Brexit deal should be amendable by lawmakers or not: if it is, that’s more power for Parliament and less power for those who want May to be able to walk away.

Brexit Secretary David Davis set out a modified position with just hours until the vote, leaving it up to the Speaker in Parliament on the day to decide if the government’s motion is amendable or not.

The government thinks it has enough votes to win, according to an ally of Davis. Anti-Brexit rebel Conservative lawmakers are being pulled into the whips’ office as the enforcers make sure they have the numbers to carry the vote. Chief whip Julian Smith was spotted in the chamber with his thumbs up.

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