Germany is often described as the “powerhouse” of Europe, but the health of the world’s fourth largest economy is not as rosy as most people think, according to one economist.
Britain's upper house of parliament voted on Tuesday to give lawmakers more power to reject the final terms of the country's exit from the European Union, ignoring pleas from Prime Minister Theresa May's government not to hamstring their negotiations.
The vote, which passed by 366 to 268, attaches an extra condition to the "European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill" -- legislation which will give May the power to trigger divorce talks. She plans to use that power later this month.
The amended bill now demands that Britain's parliament has to approve any exit deal before it is debated by the European Parliament, or, if talks fail, that lawmakers must vote to approve a decision to walk away without a deal.
Brexit minister David Davis said the government would seek to overturn the changes when the bill is presented for approval to the lower chamber, where May has a slim majority.
"It is clear that some in the Lords would seek to frustrate that process, and it is the government's intention to ensure that does not happen," he said in a statement.
The defeat, however, could present a major headache for May if members of her own party follow through on their threats to rebel by supporting the amendment.
"I will vote to keep in this amendment," Anna Soubry, a Conservative lawmaker in the lower chamber, told Sky News. She said parliament needed a proper say on the issue, warning of the dangers of a 'Hard Brexit' scenario where Britain left the EU without a deal.
A split within May's Conservative party would undermine her authority at a time when she is facing down demands for a second independence referendum from Scottish nationalists, managing fears that Brexit could destabilize Northern Ireland, and trying to persuade major EU powers they must cut her a good exit deal.
The government has already promised parliament a vote on the final deal, but believes restricting May's ability to leave the negotiating table could encourage the EU to offer a bad deal in the hope that lawmakers would then reject it and potentially halt Brexit.
"This amendment simply makes the negotiations much harder from day one for the prime minister as it increases the incentive for the European Union to offer nothing but a bad deal," said George Bridges, the government's Brexit minister for the Lords, in his final plea before the vote.
May has insisted that she would be prepared to leave the EU without any deal if the terms on offer weren't good enough, stating in January that "No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain."
But, if the changes made on Tuesday become law, she would not be able to do that without parliamentary approval. Bridges said it was unclear what would happen if parliament rejected such a move.
Some of May's opponents in the lords have signaled they will not seek to prolong or thwart the legislative process, meaning they could back down and accept an unamended bill if their changes are overturned in the lower chamber.
photo of UK's May defeated as lawmakers demand power to reject final Brexit terms
The European Central Bank announced a continuation of the bank's generous asset-buying program while keeping interest rates unchanged.
The idea the U.S. administration would be able to normalize ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin is the stuff of fairytales; Rusal President.
China, alone among the big powers, is the one unambiguous friend of the EU and of greater European unity.
Breaking the Franco-German relationship would mean the dismantling of the European Union, the German finance minister said.
Dutch populist Geert Wilders' popularity seems to be diminishing as his chances appear to be hampered by Trump's protectionist agenda.
The Dutch election may serve as a bellwether for France's — and Europe's — future.
The ECB is faced with a unique political challenge this year and could implement its "nuclear" policy to weather a populist storm; analysts.
The French election campaign has become an unprecedented spectacle where two of the three leading presidential candidates face investigation and possible charges, writes Don Murray.
With just over six weeks to go in the French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron is vying for first place in the first round. He's photogenic and highly intelligent. More importantly, he's lucky.
- J.D. Power & Associates 8 most dependable cars, minivan
- Wake up to this crazy good Goo Goo barbecue biscuit from Holler & Dash
- Muscle Shoals Swampers, Jimmy Hall appear in Bayside Academy music showcase
- New York City Ballet dancer returns to Alabama for "The Sleeping Beauty"
- Who should replace Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on 'SNL'?
- Jimmy Buffett to return to The Wharf in Orange Beach
- Beer garden in the works for downtown Montgomery
- Weekend box office: 'Logan' tears up opening weekend with $85.3M debut
- Resumes are more art than science
- How to open a resume: Objective statement vs. qualifications summary
- Don't confuse a resume with an autobiography
- Do I really need a cover letter? Plus more common resume questions
- Tim Tebow stalked by Colorado woman at Mets spring camp: cops
- KING: The Democratic Party doesn't get why it's so unpopular
- Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy Obamacare replacement should be called ‘Abominable Care’
- Fisher’s finish leads to Match Play and a shot at Masters
- Robinson, Lind ready for a spring training job fight
- World Baseball Classic failing to draw interest of American fans
- Ben Carson confirmed by Senate as HUD secretary
- Proposed $54B jump in defense budget won’t help economy much
- French police on the hunt for poachers who killed a white rhino in a zoo
- Germany's challenge: How will schools absorb thousands of Syrian children?
- Russia reopens 1998 murder probe; Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a suspect
- Postal worker believed he would never see family again, kidnap trial told
- Latest: Tragic deaths not the first time O'Brien family devastated by fire
- Germany’s ‘powerhouse’ economy is cracking and investors need to be wary, economist warns
- ECB holds interest rates at zero percent; Draghi says sense of urgency easing
- Op-Ed: European populist protectionism against China is economic self-harm
- Why the ECB could be forced to exercise 'nuclear' policies in the event of a political crisis
- 'Every time I see a report of a dead body, I ring the gardaí', says father of man missing for 21 years
- Russian Revolution at 100: No joy for Putin
- Merkel warns Turkey over democracy while urging closer ties
- Russia urged to ban 'Beauty and the Beast'
- Party leaders to weigh 'exit plan' for embattled Fillon
- Fake job claims, probes mar French election
- UK foreign secretary to meet Russia's Lavrov
- Ireland: Human remains found at former home
- Man who falsely imprisoned and 'ferociously' beat ex-girlfriend to be assessed for community service
- HSE denies failing to contact Gardaí for three years after receiving 'Grace' report
- 'Nine years, and I never get to see his face again,' widow shouts as man jailed for manslaughter