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

United Kingdom says 'legally binding changes' to Brexit deal agreed with EU

United Kingdom says 'legally binding changes' to Brexit deal agreed with EU

Michael Gove, who campaigned for Brexit in 2016, said that if May lost Tuesday's vote then it would effectively lose control of Brexit.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday the revised Brexit deal does not undermine the backstop nor reopen the withdrawal agreement.

The Prime Minister's spokesman cautioned against "speculation" that Mrs May might ask Parliament to vote on a "conditional" motion expressing its readiness to support a form of deal other than the one agreed with Brussels.

It comes after the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by 149 votes in the House of Commons last night.

A weakened May, her authority shredded by successive Brexit defeats in Parliament, said her Conservative lawmakers could vote Wednesday night according to their conscience, rather than having to follow a party line.

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

With Theresa May likely to be humiliated again seeking further concessions in Strasbourg today and in tomorrow's vote, it appears city institutions have been voting with their feet, moving operations overseas.

"May has boxed herself even deeper into a corner, it seems the second meaningful vote will go ahead on Tuesday but it also seems like it won't be the last meaningful vote on this", one European Union official said.

The vote deepened uncertainty for the future of Brexit, with no deal, a new deal and a delay all still on the table, The Metro reports.

The joint UK-EU statement in the non-binding political declaration commits both sides to develop new technologies at the border to replace the need for the backstop by December 2020.

Tariffs will not be applied to goods entering Northern Ireland from the Republic in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Many products that now trade seamlessly between the United Kingdom and the EU would be expected to face tariffs and inspections when Britain leaves the European Union near the end of this month.

All eyes are now on the UK's Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, who will give his legal advice on the backstop.

"This is a government in chaos, with a country in chaos because of this mess", Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

Residents, businesses and politicians across Britain and the bloc were bracing for a chaotic Brexit after British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit agreement for a second time by a decisive 391-242 vote on Tuesday.

The prime minister was seeking revisions, guarantees or other changes to persuade reluctant British legislators to back her withdrawal agreement with the European Union, which they resoundingly rejected in January.

She announced the move after a late evening dash to Strasbourg to hammer out the changes with top European officials, as the clock ticked down to Britain s scheduled divorce from the bloc on March 29.

May's government has been seeking changes, but the European Union refuses to reopen the 585-page agreement that it spent a year-and-a-half negotiating.

This is far more likely, given that lawmakers rejected the deal in January by a historic margin of 230 votes.

Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which props up May's minority government, and Steve Baker, a leading figure in the large euroskeptic faction of her Conservative Party, said she was heading for defeat. "The EU will want to know what use we mean to make of such an extension".

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