Brexit assurances significantly reduce risk of being trapped in backstop -Cox

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 14, 2019

The U.K. would enter a transition period that would last through the end of 2020.

Cox gave his legal opinion on the new wording struck between May and Juncker - which could be crucial in determining how Brexiteers vote later Tuesday.

"That's why MPs must reject this deal tomorrow". Two years after Brits voted for Brexit and May set the withdrawal in motion, the still squabbling internally about what it actually wants-there's no evidence that a few more months will make a difference. "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.

Intensive discussions led by the Labour MPs Stephen Kinnock and Lucy Powell are under way over the wording of a potential backbench amendment that might be close enough to Labour's version of Brexit to allow the leadership to support it.

They have been demanding that the agreement does not keep the United Kingdom locked in the Irish backstop - an insurance policy to guarantee no return to a hard border in Ireland - indefinitely.

Britain's Parliament is due to vote Tuesday on whether to approve May's Brexit divorce deal with the European Union, which it already rejected once.

Talks have been ill-tempered and optimism faded over the weekend. The legal situation remains effectively unchanged, as May's attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, confirmed Tuesday.

"MPs were clear that legal changes were needed to the backstop". The status of these documents will be scrutinized intensively during Tuesday's debate.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said last-minute new agreements "reduce the risk" of Britain being "indefinitely and involuntarily" held in the so-called Irish border backstop. One in three of May's Tories rebelled against her orders and voted down her deal in January. He said members of parliament are working on the assumption May's deal won't pass tonight. The simplest option would be a short extension of a few months, so the United Kingdom doesn't end up remaining part of the European Union but without any representation in its parliament. A panel of euro-skeptic politicians will examine May's latest blueprint in detail, he said.

Last time May put her deal to the House of Commons, it was rejected by a ratio greater than 2:1.

If Parliament rejects the no-deal option, MPs would then face a vote on Wednesday or Thursday if they wanted to pursue a "short limited extension to Article 50", at which point, May would contact the see if Brussels would okay a delay to the process, which began with the initial vote to leave in June 2016.

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