May faces losing control over Brexit despite gamble on backstop

Theresa May Brexit deal

She will open Tuesday's debate in the Commons by setting out the government's backing for an amendment tabled by senior Tory backbencher Graham Brady, which seeks to replace the Irish backstop with "alternative arrangements".

The border measure, known as the backstop, would keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU in order to remove the need for checks along the frontier between the UK's Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Britain leaves the bloc.

Amendment C: Sir Vince Cable (Lib Dem) - Requires the government to rule out a no-deal Brexit and prepare for a "People's Vote" in which the public will have the option to remain in the European Union on the ballot paper.

An amendment put forward by Labour Party MP Yvette Cooper would have delayed Brexit by nine months if no agreement was reached with Brussels by the end of February, a month before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29.

Members of Parliament rejected Labour MP Yvette Cooper's amendment, which was aimed at enabling the House of Commons to vote on blocking a no-deal Brexit, also known as a hard Brexit.

Parallel talks among European Union states on letting Britons visit without visas following a no-deal Brexit were delayed last week, diplomatic sources said, after Spain raised objections over Gibraltar, a British territory to which Madrid lays claim.

Also on rt.com Brexiteers tempt Theresa May with removal of Irish backstop vote - will she bite? . Any proposals approved by parliament on those days would not be binding on the government but would be politically hard to ignore.

But if no deal has been reached by February 13, the spokesman said May would table a statement setting out what the government plans to do next - which MPs will be able to amend, giving them another opportunity to reject a no-deal Brexit.

The EU insists the Brexit agreement can not be reopened.

But what will come first is the vote in the Commons, and Mrs May appealed for the backing of the "Brady" amendment as the next step, saying it would "give the mandate I need to negotiate with Brussels an arrangement that commands a majority in this House - not a further exchange of letters, but a significant and legally binding change to the withdrawal agreement".

All Welsh Tory MPs voted against the no-deal Brexit motion except Guto Bebb, the pro-EU MP who represents Aberconwy.

And Ireland's Europe minister Helen McEntee called for "realism" from London as "there can be no change to the backstop".

After May opens a day of debate, MPs are set to vote from 1900 GMT on measures that could include preventing a no-deal Brexit, delaying Brexit, changing the negotiated deal and even seizing control of the entire process.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the EU was waiting to see what happened in Parliament.

Welsh MPs voted on party lines on Tuesday night.

The prime minister's original Brexit proposals were thrashed by the parliament on January 15, with the government losing by record 230 votes.

Hardline Brexiteers have dismissed predictions of long lines at borders and food and medicine shortages as exaggerated talk created to delay and ultimately overturn the 2016 referendum, in which more than 17 million Brits voted to leave the bloc.

Mrs May wants to use a series of votes today to find a consensus that MPs in her own party could support, just two weeks since her deal suffered the biggest parliamentary defeat in modern British history.

In one exchange, confirmed to Sky News by a close ally, Mr Johnson shouted at the PM: "What do YOU want to do, Prime Minister".

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