Britain's government and its lawmakers were set to clash Wednesday, as Prime Minister Theresa May brought her little-loved Brexit deal back to Parliament, a month after postponing a vote on the agreement to stave off near-certain defeat.
"The amendment doesn't affect the normal operations of the Treasury. but it does make it harder for the government to drift into no deal without parliament being able to direct it", Yvette Cooper, the MP who introduced the amendment, told the Guardian.
Labour said it would try to trigger an election by calling for a no-confidence vote in the government if May's deal is defeated next week.
But her spokesman added: "If that were not to take place. we would respond quickly and provide certainty on the way forward".
It comes as MPs get set to debate the withdrawal agreement ahead of a crucial vote in the House of Commons next week.
As part of a series of commitments created to shore up the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the paper says that Northern Ireland will be given "a strong voice and role in the backstop process".More news: Recording of "Sonic Attack" in Cuba Was Crickets: Scientists
When the backstop was first agreed in December 2017 the joint statement from the United Kingdom and European Union said that, if there was no agreement on how to prevent a hard border, then there would be no new regulatory barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom unless the assembly and executive agreed that Northern Ireland needed "distinct arrangements".
The crushing response came after the publication of a Government paper setting out nine "commitments" to Northern Ireland created to reinforce its "integral" place in the United Kingdom if the backstop ever kicked in.
It also said it would accept a change to its Brexit plans which, if passed, would mean that parliament would have the chance to express its disapproval about entering the backstop, if the need to do so arose, without compromising the deal.
"The prime minister will be updating parliament tomorrow and she will be talking about the clarifications, the reassurances that parliament is seeking that the backstop will not be permanent".
An alliance of governing Conservative and opposition legislators has dealt May two defeats in as many days - symbolic setbacks that suggest a power shift from the executive to the legislature.
Wednesday's amendment has more weight, requiring May, is she loses the divorce deal vote, to explain her "plan B" by the latest on Monday, Jan 21.More news: Scientists cook up plan for spicy tomatoes
Combining with the left-wing opposition parties, the European Union loyalists were able to pass the amendment in the teeth of Government and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) opposition, by 308 to 297.
French European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau urged reluctant British lawmakers to back the deal, which lays out things like Britain's future financial obligations, the rights of citizens hit by Brexit and steps to keep goods flowing freely across the Irish border.
May called off the December vote at the last minute when it became clear that a majority of lawmakers - from the governing Conservatives as well as opposition parties - opposed the deal, a compromise that has left both pro-European and pro-Brexit politicians unhappy.
Andrea Leadsom, a Cabinet Brexiteer and Leader of the House of Commons, asked Mr Bercow to release the advice he received from the Clerk of the House of Commons on whether the amendment should have been accepted, but he declined to do so.
Conservative lawmaker and former minister Ken Clarke meanwhile repeated his call for Brexit to be delayed while parliament decides what to do next.
An EU diplomat told AFP on Tuesday that "we are convinced that Theresa May will request a postponement after the agreement is rejected in the British parliament".More news: Rod Rosenstein to step down once attorney general is confirmed