United Kingdom premier Theresa May suffers new heavy defeat over Brexit

15 March, 2019, 05:26 | Author: Carlos George
  • Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his house in north London

Theresa May revealed last night that she had obtained new "legally binding assurances" (a phrase that legal experts have said is not in any way factual terminology) from European Union negotiators ahead of her vote in the Commons this evening on a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

"If this vote is not passed tonight, if this deal is not passed, then Brexit could be lost", she told MPs during a debate on her plan on Tuesday.

Some British lawmakers had warned their Brexit-backing colleagues that rejecting the deal could lead to Britain's departure being postponed indefinitely, because a delay would give momentum to opponents of withdrawal.

Her initial 585-page deal with Brussels on unwinding Britain's European Union membership suffered an overwhelming defeat at the hands of MPs in January and its success or failure on Tuesday depends on the view of Brexit hardliners in parliament.

Mr Cox wrote: "I now consider that the legally binding provisions of the Joint Instrument and the content of the Unilateral Declaration reduce the risk that the United Kingdom could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained within the Protocol's provisions at least in so far as that situation had been brought about by the bad faith or want of best endeavours of the EU".

But in the final part of his conclusion, Cox said that legal risks of Britain being stuck in the backstop remained.

The pound, which had risen after May secured the changes in Strasbourg, went into reverse and tumbled after Mr Cox's advice was released. "For the European Union it's of utmost importance that the integrity of the single market be preserved, and that there be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland".

But TIG insiders said they were fed up with being told to wait for the right time to put the amendment to a vote.

But Brussels has said it is essential for preserving the bloc's external border after Brexit.

"How many votes have there been, and every time it's a negative majority, a majority against something".

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However, the text of the 585-page withdrawal agreement remained unchanged. This will make no doubt make it harder to convince the Tory hardliners that she's been able to deliver actual changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.

"Today is the day", Downing Street quoted May as telling her Cabinet. "Let's get this done".

The defeat came after May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced changes Monday created to overcome lawmakers' concerns about provisions created to ensure the border between EU member Ireland and Britain's Northern Ireland remains open after Brexit.

DUP sources have said the party can not support the Prime Minister's deal in tonight's vote, which effectively kills off any chance of it getting Commons' backing.

Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford said further negotiations should include a second referendum.

Another defeat on Tuesday would tee up additional votes on the way ahead.

That option is fraught with economic dangers and is backed only by hardcore proponents of the divorce.

Mrs May said all Conservative MPs would be allowed a free vote on the no-deal Brexit and aides said that she would personally vote against the possibility of crashing out without an agreement. A request for an extension of Article 50 requires the unanimous agreement of all 27 member states.

Any postponement may have to be short-lived.

He said: "I would like to stress that the United Kingdom's withdrawal should be complete before the European elections that will take place between 23-26 May this year".

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