British Parliament overwhelmingly rejects May's Brexit deal

Brexit Talks 'Deadlocked' Despite Appeal to EU for Last-Minute Concession

May is to open a debate in the House of Commons Tuesday that will conclude Tuesday night with a vote on the "improved" deal she has brokered with the European Union on Britain's relationship after it ends its membership of the regional bloc.

She had hoped that revisions to a Brexit deal over the Irish backstop, or protocol, secured late last night would offer enough assurances to get her deal through parliament.

She said Conservative Party MPs would not be whipped to support or oppose the no-deal motion on Wednesday evening (Thursday morning AEDT), although she herself preferred to leave "in an orderly way, with a deal".

The UK Parliament votes on the Brexit deal once again, with high chances of a second failure.

Environment minister Michael Gove said that if the House of Commons rejected the deal, Britain risked getting a "diluted, softer, less palatable Brexit deal" or crashing out of the European Union with no deal at all.

Hours before a vote on the deal in parliament, May had failed to win over the main Brexit faction in her own party, while Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her minority government, said it would vote against her.

The statement said the European Commission and EU members will continue to prepare for Brexit happening without a deal in place and "ensure that we will be ready if such a scenario arises" on March 29.

The announcement is another blow to May's deal, after Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said last-minute changes did not eliminate the risk Britain could be trapped in European Union rules against its will.

Both Keir Starmer, the opposition Labour Party's Brexit spokesman, and Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve expressed skepticism about whether May had won substantive concessions.

- The EU and United Kingdom will convene a "high-level conference" twice a year to assess progress on trade and alternatives to the backstop.

British officials have said an exit agreement that locked Britain into a Customs Union with Europe was unacceptable but they struggled to secure changes in the deal agreed to late past year.

The EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, meanwhile, said the bloc had done "everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line". Though May cannot be challenged until December as Conservative Party rules, it could mean a major blockade for her position.

With EU leaders warning there would be no more changes or negotiations, and less than three weeks to go until the U.K.is due to leave, British lawmakers were facing a stark choice in a vote later: support a deal many consider inadequate or run the risk that Brexit might happen chaotically, or not at all.

"Today, we have secured legal changes", Ms May said in Strasbourg, France.

Anti-Brexit campaigners protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 12, 2019, ahead of the second meaningful vote on the government's Brexit deal.

Juncker said he recommended the deal to the EU Council, which represents member states, and that Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was prepared to back the changes on the backstop.

James O'Brien said the Attorney General's legal advice showed the importance of unelected experts in politics.

"To stand here today and say this is a significant change when she's repeating what she said on January 14 is not going to take anyone here far".

Pro-Brexit politicians in May's Tory party insist that the plan - known as the backstop - threatens to trap the United Kingdom inside the EU's trade regime forever, because it would be impossible for Britain to leave.

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