Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

PM Theresa May faces challenge despite securing key Brexit changes

PM Theresa May faces challenge despite securing key Brexit changes

With the approaching deadline intensifying fears that economic and personal turmoil might follow a "no-deal" withdrawal by Britain, Parliament voted 321-278 Wednesday to rule out the possibility. Let's bring the UK's withdrawal to an orderly end. "We owe it to history".

If white smoke emanates from Belfast, the next place to look was the eurosceptic wing of her own Conservative Party, where over 100 rebels reside.

Speaking alongside Mrs May in Strasbourg, Mr Juncker warned if the deal was voted down, there would be "no third chance".

Brexit-supporting lawmakers in May's party had accused her of botching the negotiations with Brussels and surrendering on the detail of the backstop which sets out what happens to the Irish border if the sides fail to find a solution.

Parliament members who voted no in January were anxious that the backstop could keep Britain in a customs union with the continent indefinitely, voiding the concept of a Britain with trade independence. As said by Mrs May last week, rejecting her deal could lead anywhere - including not leaving the European Union at all.

Talks have been ill-tempered and optimism faded over the weekend.

Lidington said that "negotiations are continuing" in Strasbourg, and the British government will update Parliament at the "earliest opportunity". But at 5.15 p.m.

And anti-Brexit campaigners haven't abandoned the idea of a new referendum on remaining in the EU.

"The joint instrument also gives a legal commitment that whatever replaces the backstop does not need to replicate it". The papers include a "unilateral declaration" setting out how the United Kingdom believes it can escape the backstop.

If MPs vote no then there could be a no-deal Brexit on or around 29 March.

Will the DUP back Theresa May's Brexit deal?

There was little indication on Monday night that minds had been changed in the wake of the new developments. "We won't know what conditions will be attached", Brexit minister Stephen Barclay told BBC radio. He said members of parliament are working on the assumption May's deal won't pass tonight.

"If MPs vote for Theresa May's Brexit deal, we edge closer to understanding exactly how and when Brexit will play out but whether that is positive or negative for the pound depends on the deal itself".

"Now is the time to come together, to back this improved Brexit deal, and to deliver on the instruction of the British people", May said.

If, however, the deal fails to pass through yet again, Theresa May's previously set timetable is set to kick in - with MPs given a vote by Wednesday on leaving the European Union without any agreement in place, which is expected to be defeated because there is very little support for such a no-deal Brexit option.

-With assistance from Dara Doyle, Nikos Chrysoloras, Kitty Donaldson, Jonathan Stearns and Alan Crawford.

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