Theresa Could secures ’legally binding’ adjustments to Brexit deal forward of CRITICAL vote

CRUCIAL Brexit talks between the UK and EU came down to the wire, with Prime Minister Theresa May securing “legally binding” changes to her deal before today’s vote.

“Now is the time to come together to back this improved Brexit deal and deliver on the instruction of the British people”

Theresa May

Mrs May raced to Strasbourg, France, before MPs vote on her Brexit deal in Parliament. 

The changes relate to the so-called Irish backstop, which Brexiteer MPs had argued could indefinitely lock the UK into having an open border with Ireland – an EU member state. 

While the Government has said it does not want a return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, it is concerned that key goals of leaving the single market and customs union would be made difficult by the arrangement. 

But, Mrs May has now said changes have been secured in the withdrawal agreement where the UK Government could start a “formal dispute” against the EU if it tried to keep Britain tied into the backstop. 

The Irish backstop question was a key stumbling block that led to Theresa May’s deal being handed a humiliating defeat in January after MPs rejected it by 432 votes to 202. 

A second meaningful vote on the deal is set for later today and had been predicted to fail yet again before the Prime Minister secured the changes on Monday. 

Mrs May is now buoyed by the new arrangement where the UK could replace the backstop with a new deal by December 2020 – the end of the transition period with the EU.

Speaking yesterday, she said: “MPs were clear that legal changes were needed to the backstop. Today we have secured legal changes. 

“Now is the time to come together to back this improved Brexit deal and deliver on the instruction of the British people.” 

Should Mrs May’s deal face another Parliamentary defeat a number of outcomes could occur. 

First, a new vote on whether to leave with no deal – which is hugely unpopular with MPs. 

If that fails to secure the necessary number of votes, a second motion on whether to extend Article 50 – essentially movie the date Britain will leave the EU – could be tabled.