Meaningful Brexit vote to go ahead next Tuesday, despite Brussels setbacks.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister has confirmed that Theresa May will continue to hold a vote next Tuesday on her Brexit deal. The vote will go ahead, despite the fact that negotiations in Brussels are ongoing.
Despite the stumbling blocks, the spokesperson reiterated that the Prime Minister is working to secure confirmation and legally binding changes in relation to the Irish backstop. This comes even though recent talks in Brussels by the attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox, have not resulted in any confirmed changes.
Geoffrey Cox said that during the three-hour talks in Brussels, ‘strong views’ were exchanged. While Downing Street also admitted the negotiations were difficult. However, the Prime Minister was keen to stress the vote in parliament will still take place on Tuesday.
As it stands, it doesn’t look that the EU will make the necessary concessions in time. Consequently, it is expected that Theresa May will sell her plan to MPs and may even try to convince the public with a speech ahead of the vote.
Sunday 10th March stands as the last day for any changes in order for the government to publish and print deal documents and the motion that MPs will vote on.
If the Prime Minister loses the vote, and cabinet are pessimistic, MPs will then have to vote on whether to block a no-deal Brexit and subsequently where to extend the departure date.
Further pressure for May comes from the fact that many MPs want a free vote on a no-deal Brexit after many frontbenchers said they would resign if they didn’t have an opportunity to vote on a no-deal Brexit.
With the Irish backstop being the main issue hindering Brexit negotiations, the Department from Exiting the EU has subsequently created three expert panels that will investigate alternative arrangements for checks at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
January 14, 2021