Brexit: MPs To Vote On Theresa May’s Deal
12 March 2019 International News
MPs will vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal later after she secured “legally binding” changes to it following last-minute talks with the EU in Strasbourg.
The PM said the changes meant the Irish backstop – the insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland – could not “become permanent”.
At a press conference with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Mrs May said she had delivered what Parliament asked her to do.
But Labour said the talks had failed.
Speaking alongside Mrs May in Strasbourg, Mr Juncker warned if the deal was voted down, there would be “no third chance”.
Two documents were agreed after Mrs May flew to the European Parliament on Monday with Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay for last-minute talks with Mr Juncker and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
The first is a “joint legally binding instrument” on the withdrawal agreement which the UK could use to start a “formal dispute” against the EU if it tried to keep the UK tied into the backstop indefinitely.
The other is a joint statement about the UK and EU’s future relationship which commits to replacing the backstop with an alternative by December 2020.
The legal view of the changes taken by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is likely to be an important factor in the lead-up to the Commons vote.
Mrs May is expected to chair a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning before the motion is debated in the Commons in the afternoon and votes are held in the evening.