May's hopes rise as senior Tory MPs soften stand on Brexit deal

06 March, 2019, 08:27 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Theresa May

"This Government Brexit Bribe won't even begin to cover the damage they've done to our city".

Lisa Nandy, who has made clear that she is willing to consider voting for Theresa May's Brexit deal, has said the £1.6bn fund announcement made today could lose the Prime Minister votes among Labour MPs, not win them.

Barnier also suggested European leaders would be amenable to a short "technical" delay in Britain's departure from the EU, scheduled for March 29, to give the British parliament time to formally ratify a final divorce deal.

Only 13% support Theresa May's deal and 84% would vote to stay in the European Union if asked.

She plans to hold a second vote on the deal coming week after promising to seek changes to a controversial "backstop" arrangement to guarantee and open Irish border after Brexit. "The negotiations are at a critical and sensitive point".

Cox's presence is seen as central to the meeting, as he will ultimately offer a legal opinion on the Brexit deal and the Irish backstop that could determine whether key MPs in the British parliament will approve the accord.

The EU sees the backstop as an insurance policy to keep open the border between EU member Ireland and British Northern Ireland - and to preserve the island's peace process.

The chief whip, Julian Smith, has warned cabinet ministers that, if MPs reject Theresa May's deal a second time next week, parliament would take control and force a softer Brexit.

Kurdish fighters release 300 IS-linked Syrians
The SDF have now cornered the group in a last stretch of territory near the border with Iraq in a final bid to flush them out. A spokesman for the US-led coalition and its ground allies, including the SDA, said the pace of the advance had ebbed.

Some hardline Brexit supporters in May's Conservative Party have dropped their demand for changes to the backstop to be included in the withdrawal treaty.

But majority continue to press for a time limit or exit clause to the backstop.

The ERG has set out three tests by which they will judge Mr Cox's efforts to secure changes to the backstop.

"I don't want to overstate them because I still think there's a lot of work to do, but I think they do understand that we are being honest", Hunt told BBC radio on Tuesday morning. "If we can't get that we will have to break the logjam by going back to the people".

Brady told the Observer Saturday that his intention had always been to "ensure that the backstop could not assume a permanent status, trapping the United Kingdom in the EU customs union".

Mrs May's hopes of winning over Tory Eurosceptics hinge on Mr Cox being able to change his legal advice about the indefinite nature of the backstop, which is meant to ensure there is no hard border on the island of Ireland in the absence of a future free trade agreement.

According to critics, it is suspicious that the delivery of 1.6 billion pounds sterling was announced a week before the House of Commons will decide whether or not it will support the new government plan for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union on March 29.

With fears about financial and economic stability growing, British MPs last week agreed to give May more time to seek changes from Brussels, but if she can not get her deal passed by March 12, she has agreed to let parliament vote for a Brexit delay.

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