Tag: David Lidington

Theresa May has won legally binding changes to her Brexit deal after talks in Strasbourg

The Prime Minister says she’s WON legally binding changes to Brexit deal in last-ditch bid to avoid crushing defeat.

Talks went on late into the night this evening as Brexiteers consider whether it will be enough to ease their fears that the hated Northern Irish backstop would turn us into an EU colony forever.

The Prime Minister is due to hold a second ‘meaningful vote’ on her Brexit deal in the House of Commons tomorrow but she’s not been able to secure all the changes she wants.

Talks went on late into the night this evening as Brexiteers consider whether it will be enough to ease their fears that the hated Northern Irish backstop would turn us into an EU colony forever.

As tomorrow’s Brexit vote remained on a knife edge, Mrs May told reporters her deal had secured the changes it needed for MPs to back her in the Commons.

The PM was “in negotiations” with EU bosses all evening, her deputy David Lidington said this evening.

Mrs May and her aides all looked pleased when they arrived in France this evening and went into talks about how to get the Brexit deal through.

She will still hold a second vote on her Brexit deal tomorrow – and could be expected to suffer a loss as the talks dragged on and on.

The documents revealed two sides agreed a joint interpretative instrument which commits the UK and EU “to work together to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by December 2020.”

And it also included an addition to our future relationship outline – saying both sides will “expedite the negotiation and bring into force” the future partnership.

But talks appeared to be stuck over the final point – a UK statement which would help the Attorney General change his legal advice on whether the backstop would last forever or not.

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer said the tweaks “adds nothing” to the deal and it still wouldn’t be good enough for them to get behind.

Iain Duncan Smith demanded the Attorney General come back to the Commons tomorrow to explain his expert opinion on the new deal.

He suggested the PM delay the vote for a day so MPs could properly consider the fresh text.

Mrs May’s scramble across to Europe was accidentally slipped out by Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney earlier, who said Mrs May was going “to try and finalise an agreement, if that’s possible”.

The Irish cabinet met too this evening, and the DUP’s Arlene Foster was in London talking to her MPs.

Top Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg said it was “too early to tell” but said it was “clearly a step in the right direction”.

Brexiteer Steve Baker said this evening he was waiting to see the text of the deal, telling Sky News: “We may or may not be able to support it.

“If in 5 to 10 years we found ourselves trapped in the backstop, in the customs union, people would rightly curse the day we had voted for the withdrawal agreement and ask why we’d been so weak.”

He added on Radio 4 it appeared tonight’s agreement was “something that has fallen short of what was expected”.

Their group of lawyers will meet tomorrow to analyse whether they think Britain can exit the backstop or not.

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LIVE: Lidington and Thornberry cover for May and Corbyn at #PMQs

LIVE: David Lidington and Emily Thornberry cover for Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs

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