Theresa May in last-minute bid for Brexit breakthrough

Leroy Wright
March 12, 2019

"An unchanged withdrawal agreement will be defeated firmly by a sizeable proportion of Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) if it is again presented to the Commons", deputy DUP leader Nigel Dodds and Conservative party's leading Eurosceptic Steve Baker wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.

The Prime Minister has been in Strasbourg for last-minute talks with the European Union in a bid to break the Brexit impasse.

The Irish backstop question was a key stumbling block that led to Theresa May's deal being handed a humiliating defeat in January after MPs rejected it by 432 votes to 202.

Ireland's deputy prime minister says United Kingdom leader Theresa May is set to hold last-minute talks with European Union leaders to try to save her foundering Brexit divorce deal.

Tajani said the political declaration on Brexit could perhaps be slightly more clearly formulated but he ruled out changing the withdrawal agreement, especially on the Northern Ireland issue.

"To stand here today and say this is a significant change when she's repeating what she said on January 14 is not going to take anyone here far".

MPs are expected to vote on the deal on Tuesday, with possible further votes on whether to accept a no-deal Brexit or extend Article 50 in order to delay the UK's departure beyond the current March 29 deadline.

Lidington said that "negotiations are continuing" in Strasbourg, and the British government will update Parliament at the "earliest opportunity".

Plane makes emergency landing, passengers evacuated
Air Transat Flight 942 was headed to Fort Lauderdale from Montreal, Canada, when it was diverted to Newark at 8:30 a.m. This story has been corrected to note that there were 189 passengers aboard rather than 89 passengers aboard.

As MPs debated Brexit, Mrs May was on the other side of Parliament Square at Westminster Abbey taking part in a Commonwealth Day service.

Some called on the PM to postpone the "meaningful vote" rather than risk another damaging reverse.

The meaningful vote on the PM's Brexit deal will happen on Tuesday, but it is widely anticipated MPs will reject it.

If the concessions are not deemed adequate, one plan being discussed in the ERG was whether to table an amendment to May's motion saying parliament's approval would be conditional on "alternative arrangements" being found to replace the Irish backstop.

May's apparent breakthrough came after a day of drama on both sides of the channel, with many centrist Tories outraged by the suggestion that she had been planning to pull her meaningful vote and replace it with a provisional one showing the European Union what Eurosceptics in her party would accept.

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell told the Times of London that "anything that avoids what looks like a massive defeat on Tuesday is worth considering".

First, a new vote on whether to leave with no deal - which is hugely unpopular with MPs.

"Now is the time to come together to back this improved Brexit deal and deliver on the instruction of the British people".

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