The Prime Minister will ask for another two weeks to alter the agreement as pro-Remain MPs prepare to remove the option of a no deal Brexit. She will urge the Commons to allow her to come back later this month to update MPs on her plans and give them an opportunity to vote on how to proceed. With the exit date looming, Mrs May is finding it hard to make any adjustments to the Withdrawal Agreement, as the EU has so far insisted that negotiations are over.
A Downing Street source told the Daily Telegraph that the Prime Minister is attempting to make “legally binding changes to the deal” while warning against any move that would “tie our hands while we seek to fulfill on that instruction”.
However, European Research Group (ERG) deputy, Steve Baker said: “The treaty itself will not be amended and the backstop will continue to be an indefinite hell whose only exit appears to lead back to the EU.”
On Friday night Mrs May met with Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar in Dublin as part of her efforts to negotiate remove or indeed include a strict timeline on the Irish Backstop.
Mr Varadkar said it was “not a day for negotiations” but it was an opportunity to “share perspectives” following Mrs May’s visit to Brussels.
Despite getting parliamentary support to look for the removal of the Irish Backstop and remove a possible no-deal scenario, the EU has remained firm that it will not hold more talks over the Withdrawal Agreement.
In support of Mrs May, Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary is due in Brussels for further talks with EU delegates on Monday.
Ahead of that, the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier said: “I will listen to how the UK sees the way through.
“The EU will not reopen the Withdrawal Agreement.”
“But I will reaffirm our openness to rework the Political Declaration in full respect of EUCO guidelines.”
After failing with her initial amendment, Labour MP, Yvette Cooper will put forward a second version in an attempt to force the Government to remove a no deal Brexit.
She is also expected to gain substantial support from a section of pro-Remain Conservatives.
Meanwhile, Martin Howe, a Tory QC, has warned in a new report that the UK could be held to ransom by individual EU countries if the Government bows to pressure to seek permission from member states to delay Brexit.
Published at Sun, 10 Feb 2019 00:39:00 +0000