Will EU backstop promises help Theresa May to win her Brexit vote?

14 March, 2019, 07:41 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Theresa May suffers second Brexit vote defeat

It comes after MPs supported an amended Government motion which rejects a no-deal Brexit at any time and under any circumstances by 321 votes to 278, with a majority 43.

Publishing "temporary" tariffs and arrangements in Northern Ireland for a no deal Brexit, the British government signaled that they want to keep the option on the agenda but it is likely that MPs will reject it Wednesday evening.

The fear is real, but even May said the prospect of pushing back Article 50 and the March 29 deadline would not solve the issue if Parliament couldn't actually agree on how to proceed with Brexit.

Scotland's First Minister also believes that following the latest setback on her proposed Brexit deal, May should now definitively rule out on a No-Deal scenario and look to extend the deadline to leave the European Union that was triggered by Article 50.

The PM had herself had proposed rejecting no deal, but the complex nature of her motion, which kept no deal on the table in the longer term for negotiating leverage, was rejected.

Meanwhile, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he would "intensify" his country's no-deal preparations. If that fails, they will vote Thursday to request an extension for the EU's two-year exit procedure.

Just like when the, European Union negotiator Michel Barnier responded that the solution to the "deadlock can only be broken in the UK".

A defiant Mrs May who is battling a bad sore throat and has nearly lost her voice, told parliament: "I may not have my own voice, but I do understand the voice of the country". "We're totally f****d", one said. But the mood has been hardening among European politicians, who seem reluctant to reopen negotiations for a withdrawal deal or grant a delay to Brexit without any specific goal.

"To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal - you have to agree to a deal", an European Union spokesperson said.

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That could mean having a form of Brexit that is not what leave voters wanted, or even holding a second referendum, she said.

"Extending Article 50 would be one way of avoiding the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union without a deal but this would only be a sticking plaster unless the deep, underlying issues are resolved".

"That is the question asked and we are waiting for an answer to that".

It went further than the government's position of keeping the threat of a "no-deal" Brexit on the negotiating table - a stance many in her party said was essential to push Brussels to make further concessions to the deal they have rejected.

In a painfully worded motion, Theresa May did her best to placate all sides of the Brexit divide both in her own party, the House of Commons and in Europe.

Ahead of Theresa May's latest push to win last-minute changes to her Brexit deal on Monday (11 March), a UK official told EURACTIV the only thing that could get it over the line was if the UK Attorney General could conclude that the threat of having an indefinite Irish border backstop has now been removed.

The amendment is not legally binding, and a version of it was passed in January.

Elsewhere, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez tweeted: "We regret the decision of the British Parliament despite the EU's effort to achieve the best agreement".

"The government has been defeated again by an enormous majority", opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said. It would also mean a referendum would be held at that point, based on a choice between the deal arranged at that point, and remaining in the EU.



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