Theresa May ordered to reopen Brexit negotiations with Europe
Theresa May ordered to reopen Brexit negotiations with Europe
Alastair Grant APBrexit supports and protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London Monday Jan. 28 2019
31 January, 2019, 01:21
The backstop is an insurance policy to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland if such a scenario isn't averted in a future EU-UK trade relationship.
A demonstration at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland in Newry, Northern Ireland.
But the Irish deputy PM Simon Coveney says changes to the backstop, aimed at preventing a hard border, would not be acceptable.
"And Graham has said he could live with a protocol rather than changes to the text, whereas from our point of view there needs to be changes to the text".
While those in the pro-Brexit faction balked at other parts of her deal, their key objection was the backstop, and its removal allowed them to vote for the Brady amendment.
But Mrs May's official spokesman said: "There is a very clear message from the EU's leaders that they want the United Kingdom to leave with a deal and that they understand this is in the best interests of the European Union as well as the United Kingdom".
May's minority government relies on the votes of a tiny Northern Irish party that loves Brexit but hates the "backstop" solution for keeping the border open with European Union member Ireland.
The plan - called the The Malthouse Compromise after Kit Malthouse, the MP who brought the parties together - would lead to Britain leaving the European Union "on time and with a functioning government", former Brexit minster Steve Baker said.
Speaking to the same conference, a former British envoy to the EU, Ivan Rogers, said he expected the deadlock to persist in the coming weeks, saying it had always seemed likely that the outcome would remain in doubt until much closer to March 29.
Britain's bickering parliament has splintered into rival factions with their own remedies for Prime Minister Theresa May'sBrexit deal. The proposal appears to only leave scope for the backstop to be overtaken by a better solution - and there's no evidence there is one.
"Members of the House of Commons have taken away the main negotiating card", he said. "Today we need to send an emphatic message about what we do want".
Theresa May has told her cabinet she will accede to demands from Tory Brexiters and return to Brussels in a bid to reopen the painstakingly-negotiated withdrawal agreement to secure "legal changes" to the Irish backstop.
She added: "The time has come for words to be matched by deeds". London, Brussels, Dublin and Belfast all want it to stay that way, but making this compatible with Brexit is a circle yet to be squared.
"When will the PM understand that the ideological leaders of the ERG do not want a deal?"
But it was far from clear whether this instruction would be followed by enough of the 118 Conservatives who rebelled against Mrs May's deal on January 15.
May has backed a proposal calling for the backstop to be replaced by "alternative arrangements", and has called on all lawmakers from her Conservative Party to support it.
Dr Fox said that MPs' backing for the Brady amendment would strengthen the Prime Minister's hand.
The Labour Party and a number of Remain-backing MPs are supporting Ms Cooper's amendment that would create a bill enabling Article 50 to be delayed by up to nine months if the government does not have a plan agreed in Parliament by the end of February.
In addition, Labour lawmaker, Rachel Reeves, has submitted an amendment that pushes the government to extend the Brexit deadline, but does not indicate for how long.
Mr Corbyn also said his party would back a three-month delay to Article 50.
Labour has yet to decide which amendments it will back on Tuesday morning, hours before the vote, several sources said.
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