United Kingdom has secured ‘legally binding’ way around Brexit backstop with EU - May

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British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy was in meltdown on Monday after her failure to win last-minute concessions from the European Union set the stage for another humiliating defeat of her divorce deal in Parliament. These had equal legal force with the withdrawal agreement, he claimed.

"If the votes go this week in a way which means that the Prime Minister's policy as she has set out and stuck to rigidly over the course of the last two-and-a-bit a years is taken away, dismantled slowly by Parliament this week, I think it would be very hard for the Prime Minister to stay in office for very much longer".

And Tory Brexiteer Peter Bone urged the government to delay the vote until MPs had had enough time to scrutinise any changes to the deal.

Tuesday's meeting between Michel and Merkel will enable both government leaders to exchange their views on this issue and on the consequences should the British parliament renew their rejection.

Members of Parliament are set to put forward amendments as soon as next week calling for a second referendum.

May also said that the United Kingdom would make a separate political declaration that the backstop would no longer apply if talks on a future trade deal collapse.

The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, immediately cast doubt on whether the changes would actually be legally binding, saying: "It sounds again that nothing has changed".

Britain's beleaguered prime minister would declare a personal victory and the United Kingdom would enter a transition period until the end of 2020. As a result, she can not be forced from office for a year.

"It looks as though she's bringing back the same deal so it looks as though we will have the same result and it will be thrown out", Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said.

The United Kingdom's tortuous crisis over European Union membership is approaching its finale with an extraordinary array of options including a delay, a last-minute deal, a no-deal Brexit, a snap election or even another referendum.

Cabinet ministers urged their Tory colleagues on Sunday to support May's deal, with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt saying both the European Union and British parliamentarians need to be "realistic".

While May has said she wants to stay on in power to deliver a domestic legacy, the votes in Parliament this week might determine the length of her remaining time in Downing Street.

Lawmakers are expected to try and make changes to the text of the statement to show that there is majority support for an alternative course of action or to make backing the deal conditional on something such as a second referendum.

But events this week could trigger a delay in the Brexit timetable.

Michael Gove stated in the Daily Mail that the only way to heal the nation's bitter divisions and make sure Brexit happens is to back Mrs May's deal.

But eurosceptic conservative MPs, as well as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), May's ally in Northern Ireland, have been opposed to it arguing it would tie the United Kingdom to the EU's trade rules indefinitely, or create a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

However, "Parliament could choose to hold another vote of no confidence in her government, which they did after the last meaningful vote", said Maddy Thimont Jack, a researcher at the Institute for Government in London.



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