May claims victory in Brexit backstop talks

Finally, a Big Week for Brexit

Finally, a Big Week for Brexit

So will she win?

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.

"The deal that MPs voted on in January was not strong enough in making that clear and legally binding changes were needed to set that right", she said.

Geoffrey Cox, the government's top lawyer, is due to give his opinion on Tuesday at 1230 GMT ahead of the vote due around 1900 GMT.

His advice previously has been that the backstop could leave the United Kingdom trapped in the Customs Union, something that Eurosceptics find unacceptable.

The government was even weighing up whether to scrap Tuesday's planned vote on the basis that no significant changes had been secured.

The EU said it had made significant concessions as two additional documents were agreed to back up the withdrawal agreement struck in December past year - a joint legally binding instrument which the United Kingdom could use to start a "formal dispute" against the EU if it tried to keep the United Kingdom tied into the backstop indefinitely and a joint statement committing both sides to find an alternative to the backstop by the end of the Brexit transition period of December 2020. This is now extremely unlikely.

The immediate reaction was cautious from Brexit-supporting lawmakers and from the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which props up her minority government.

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"That said, it will still mark a defeat in the Commons, and it could be back to the drawing board for the Conservative leader. Tomorrow, the House of Commons will debate the improved deal that these legal changes have created".

The signs don't look great though.

On Tuesday morning the DUP spokesman Sammy Wilson said the agreement "seems to fall short" of the prime minister's own problems but would not say how the party would act saying they wanted to consult and take advice on the matter.

What Brexit votes are happening this week? This chart shows how the week may develop. "It is this deal or Brexit might not happen at all".

And if that is turned down MPs will have a third vote in three days on whether to extend Article 50 and delay Brexit.

If they vote for that, the Prime Minister will go to Brussels to ask for an extension, something that all 27 member countries will need to agree to.

Tusk also said the European Union would consider a "reasoned request" from London for an extension of article 50, but only with "credible justification". May said the House of Commons had to "face up" to the consequences of its decisions.

The cross crashed around 320-pips, eroding a major part of the previous session's goodish up-move and was further pressurized by a modest pull-back in equity markets, which provided a minor lift to the Japanese Yen's safe-haven status.

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