Theresa May clears path for key vote days before Brexit

Galtero Lara
Febrero 12, 2019

The EU has ruled out any changes to the divorce deal agreed in November that is yet to be ratified by parliament, but has hinted it could change the non-binding political declaration on the UK's future relationship with the bloc.

The pair agreed to further meetings in the coming days, while their teams will continue to work to find a way forward. Blackford told Bercow: "In courtesy to yourself, I withdraw".

That is the insurance policy to ensure no hard border reforms on the UK's frontier with the European Union - between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

By rejecting Labour's idea of customs union membership, May had shown she only wanted to "deliberately run down the clock and play chicken with people's livelihoods", the opposition leader said.

The backstop has stoked fears that the United Kingdom may be tied indefinitely to EU customs union rules. He was due to visit his counterparts in Beijing on February 18 to discuss a series of issues affecting China-U.K. economic and financial relations. -China Economic and Financial Dialogue.

In a statement updating the Commons on progress in Brexit talks, Mrs May acknowledged she would need "some time" to seek legally-binding changes from the European Union to the controversial backstop for the Irish border. The government won't be putting May's deal to a decisive vote in Parliament this week but will go ahead with votes on potential Plan B options as expected on Thursday.

"The talks are at a crucial stage", Prime Minister Theresa May will say in her statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday, according to excerpts released by her office.

"We were promised there would be a deal last October - that didn't happen".

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The announcement came as Mrs May urged MPs to "hold their nerve" and support her efforts to secure a withdrawal deal which will deliver Brexit on time.

"By getting the changes we need to the backstop; by protecting and enhancing workers' rights and environmental protections; and by enhancing the role of Parliament in the next phase of negotiations, I believe we can reach a deal that this House can support".

A senior minister, James Brokenshire, has suggested there will be no such vote until March, which would leave less than 29 days until Brexit.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Leadsom said the EU's repeated refusal to reopen the withdrawal agreement was likely part of a negotiating tactic, and a compromise would serve the interests of both sides.

Leadsom said another vote would be held once the issue around the Irish backstop had been resolved.

"This is a negotiation and it would be an extraordinary outcome if the thing that the backstop is seeking to avoid - which is a hard border in Northern Ireland - if the European Union were so determined to be so intransigent about it that they actually incur the very thing that they're seeking to avoid", Leadsom said.

The government is flexible about how changes are made to the backstop, Leadsom said.

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, of the Best for Britain pro-EU campaign, said: "May will stop at nothing to crowbar through her botched Brexit deal even if that means ripping up the statute book and subverting parliamentary scrutiny and process".

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