Published: Tue, March 12, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Brexit reaches 'deadlock' before crucial vote on deal

Brexit reaches 'deadlock' before crucial vote on deal

Brexiteers in Mrs May's party had accused her of surrendering to the European Union, and it was not clear if the assurances she agreed to would be enough to win over the 116 additional MPs she needed to turn around the crushing defeat her deal, suffered in January.

It is understood this would be a legally binding interpretation of the Withdrawal Agreement, but it would not alter the text of the agreement.

MPs across the political spectrum believe the "backstop" does not have an end-date and will thus tie the United Kingdom indefinitely to European Union rules, defeating the result of the 2016 referendum.

Steve Baker, a leading figure in the ERG, said the government had put "a very good gloss on something that falls short".

However, Starmer said the party would not be seeking to secure support in parliament for a second referendum on Tuesday.

And Tory Brexiteer Peter Bone urged the government to delay the vote until MPs had had enough time to scrutinise any changes to the deal.

May also said that the United Kingdom would make a separate political declaration that the backstop would no longer apply if talks on a future trade deal collapse.

"Tonight we will be laying two new documents to the House - a joint legally binding instrument on the withdrawal agreement and a joint statement to supplement the political declaration", he added.

For the Prime Minister herself, what happens this week will decide her own future.

"She said she had been advised this letter would have legal force in worldwide law".

'To stand here today and say this is a significant change when she's repeating what she said on January 14 is not going to take anyone here far'.

After that expected defeat, the Commons will vote on Wednesday over whether to keep a no deal Brexit on the table.

To guide the Eurosceptics, the deal was due to be examined by a committee of eight lawyers in the ERG, including Sir Bill Cash and the former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab.

'The crucial point is, will this backstop come to an end?'

The wording of the motion that parliament votes on will be subject to amendments. If that option is voted down as well, the legislature will consider extending the Brexit deadline, now set for 29 March.

"But in theory yes she does not have to have a meaningful vote this week".

Hunt said Tuesday's vote would definitely go ahead, and that it was too soon to say that negotiations with the European Union had "run into the sands".

Media captionBig Brexit moment: Will MPs back or bin the PM's deal?

Mr Hunt said there was now "wind in the sails" of the opponents of Brexit and that it would be "devastating" for the Conservatives if they failed to deliver on their commitment to take Britain out of the EU.

The set to leave the bloc on March 29 as a result of a 2016 referendum where British voters chose to leave the union after more than 40 years of membership.

Lidington said that "negotiations are continuing" in Strasbourg, and the British government will update Parliament at the "earliest opportunity". She survived a bid to oust her through a no-confidence vote in December.

On Monday, May was closeted in talks with close aides in Downing Street, while a spokesperson insisted she had no plans to make a last-minute dash to Brussels and dismissed claims that the vote would be withdrawn due to the likelihood of it being voted down again.

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