SWINDON MP Robert Buckland has offered to meet a pro-EU Tory rebel in a bid to reach a compromise on a key clause in the government’s Brexit bill.

Solicitor general Mr Buckland said he would meet Dominic Grieve to discuss a way forward on the ex-attorney general’s proposed amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Mr Grieve wants government to come back to the House of Commons if no political agreement has been reached on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU by February 15 next year.

The proposal is meant to be a compromise to the so-called “meaningful vote” amendment to the Brexit bill tabled by the House of Lords. It would give parliament extensive powers to direct ministers over how to proceed in the event of a no deal Brexit or if the agreement with Brussels is rejected by MPs.

David Davis, Brexit secretary, said of the Lords’ amendment: “What it actually amounts to is an unconstitutional shift which risks undermining our negotiations with the European Union.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Buckland offered to meet Mr Grieve to discuss his proposals.

He said: “Overnight I have read very carefully the amendment that he tabled and I think, for example, with regards to 5a there is much merit in the approach that he urges this House to adopt.

“Can I say I need more time to think about the other parts of his amendment but by indicating my position on a key part of it, I am indicating that the government is willing to engage positively ahead of the lords stages.”

Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, said any compromise over the amendment by Tory Brexit rebels must be made in good faith: “The reality is if we don’t have a mechanism by which this House can properly shape the crisis that will be enfolding us at the end of February if we haven’t got a deal, then we will do it in an ad hoc way which is likely to be infinitely more damaging to the well-being of the citizens of the United Kingdom.”

Mr Buckland responded by telling MPs that Mr Grieve’s comments would form “a clear basis for a formal set of discussions that we can start at the earliest opportunity”.