Brexit chaos: UK MPs reject Theresa May’s deal AGAIN

Leroy Wright
March 15, 2019

In a written legal opinion, Cox said the United Kingdom could still not extract itself from the terms of the divorce deal unilaterally, a key demand of pro-Brexit British politicians.

May's hopes the concessions would be decisive were dashed when Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said the changes "reduce the risk" Britain could be trapped inside European Union regulations - but do not eliminate it.

The legal arguments around the new changes will be the focal point ahead of the vote scheduled for around 1900 GMT, with UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox set to update his advice on the deal and whether it will stand up to legal scrutiny and be enough to convince sceptical MPs to vote in favour of May's deal.

If the vote on Tuesday fails, May has pledged to give the House of Commons an opportunity to vote on two additional resolutions: One on a no-deal Brexit; the other on delaying Brexit beyond the March 29 date enshrined in law.

May - who will chair a meeting of her cabinet this morning - now faces an anxious wait to see if the new-look deal has won the backing of the DUP and Tory Brexiteer backbenchers.

Many Brexiteers anxious that the backstop, aimed at avoiding controls on the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland, could trap the United Kingdom in the EU's orbit indefinitely.

MPs will vote on the deal at about 7pm. Others questioned why the assurances were not included in the Withdrawal Agreement.

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British lawmakers have gone on record saying they don't want the leave the European Union without a divorce agreement in place, increasing the odds that Brexit won't take place as planned at the end of the month. If the backstop comes into force and talks on the future relationship break down, May said the unilateral declaration would make clear there was nothing to stop London from moving to leave the backstop.

She needs the ERG - the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party - and the DUP to back it in order to win the vote.

If she loses the vote, she has said MPs will get a vote on Wednesday on whether to leave without a deal and, if they reject that, then a vote on whether to ask for a limited delay to Brexit.

Meanwhile, JR Zhou, market analyst at Infinox, said markets were "convinced" that the deal does not have the numbers to pass and added that May's speech to the Commons "has now been thrust firmly into Hail Mary territory - a last-ditch effort to sell a seemingly unsellable deal to MPs".

Sterling rose sharply on Tuesday as speculation swirled that Theresa May might be closer to securing approval for her Brexit deal.

What happens after that is anyone's guess, with many MPs, including the Labour party, advocating for a second referendum.

This option is likely to prove popular, since politicians on both sides of the Brexit debate fear time is running out to secure an orderly withdrawal by March 29.

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