Theresa's new throw of the dice: May makes a desperate bid to buy off Tory rebels with parliamentary vote on entering backstop as the EU prepares for her to fail by putting Article 50 'extension' on summit agenda

Theresa's new throw of the dice: May makes a desperate bid to buy off Tory rebels with parliamentary vote on entering backstop as the EU prepares for her to fail by putting Article 50 'extension' on summit agenda

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   December 06, 2018  
 
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Theresa's new throw of the dice: May makes a desperate bid to buy off Tory rebels with parliamentary vote on entering backstop as the EU prepares for her to fail by putting Article 50 'extension' on summit agenda

Theresa May is making a desperate bid to buy off her Tory rebels by holding talks on giving Parliament a veto on entering into the controversial Irish backstop.

The PM is facing overwhelming opposition to her divorce deal, which is widely expected to be voted down by MPs in next week's crunch vote.

But with just six days until the crucial vote, the PM is scrambling to try to broker a new compromise to pick off Brexit rebels threatening to derail her deal.

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Number Ten is discussing a plan to give MPs a vote at a later date on whether the UK enters the backstop or wants to tear up the entire Brexit deal altogether.

This 'parliamentary lock' would mean the backstop - which keeps the UK tied to the EU customs union and imposes extra single market checks in Northern Ireland if a trade deal is not done in time - would only come into force if MPs approved it.

EU member states

Sources close to the PM confirmed that she is 'listening' to the concerns of her backbenchers and is holding meetings with them today.

But the plan was blasted by Brexiteer Tories, with Steve Baker telling MailOnline: 'It is silly and few are falling for it.'

Meanwhile, there were signs Brussels is preparing for the PM's deal to be voted down next Tuesday as sources said they are putting Article 50 on the agenda of the next EU summit, to be held two days later on the Thursday.

There is not yet official confirmation of the agenda, but EU member states would have to agree to stop the clock on Brexit talks by extending Article 50.

Mrs May is due to travel to Brussels for the summit, but her Brexit deal and premiership could have come crashing down by then if her deal is rejected.

MailOnline understands that proposals for a parliamentary lock would not see any changes made to the EU Withdrawal Agreement, which would have to be agreed by Brussels too.

The Government has not drawn up an amendment to next week's crunch meaningful vote motion, which would impose the parliamentary lock.

But it is understood they are in talks to consider backing such a change.

It would assert the right of Parliament to vote to avoid the backstop by withdrawing from the whole Brexit deal when the transition period nears its end in 2020.

But Brexiteer critics have poured scorn on the plan, and said that the Withdrawal Agreement would still be binding unless the whole thing was binned.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the Brexit-backing European Research Group, told MailOnline the Withdrawal Agreement would have to be amended for the compromise to work.

EU break down

He said: 'Article 4 makes the Treaty (Withdrawal Agreement) superior law so it would override a Parliamentary lock once the Withdrawal Agreement Implementation Bill is passed.'

It comes after secret legal advice finally published by the Government today after a massive political battle warned that Britain could be stuck in the Irish backstop forever if trade talks with the EU break down.

Both Leave and Remain MPs demanded the secret advice amid suspicion Attorney General Geoffrey Cox gave a bleaker assessment of how the deal works privately to Cabinet than he revealed publicly on Monday.

And it was published after the Commons voted last night to hold the Government in contempt of Parliament for the first time in history.

The six new pages of advice paint a much starker and unspun outline of the legal risks of the backstop but is not materially different to what Mr Cox had said earlier.

Read Full Article: Theresa's new throw of the dice: May makes a desperate bid to buy off Tory rebels with parliamentary vote on entering backstop as the EU prepares for her to fail by putting Article 50 'extension' on summit agenda

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