Brexit: How Scottish Tory MPs voted on Theresa May’s deal

Jeannie Matthews
March 13, 2019

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the deal agreed Monday night provided "additional clarity, reassurance and guarantees sought by some to eliminate doubt or fears, however unreal, that the goal was to trap the United Kingdom indefinitely in the backstop". However, it added that in its view "sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time".

The British House of Commons will vote on this adapted agreement on Tuesday evening.

The EU, which had warned there would be no more changes or negotiations if Parliament threw out the deal, expressed exasperation at yet another Brexit crisis.

In a written legal opinion, Cox said that if U.K. -EU negotiations became stalled through "intractable differences", Britain would have "no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol's arrangements, save by agreement".

"I don't say it's going to happen, but clearly if a government can't get through on the one issue which we were really elected to deal with at the last election it puts us all in a very hard situation".

May's run as prime minister can not go into the history books as anything other than a failure. She stressed that "we want an orderly British withdrawal".

We know that the majority of MPs don't want a no deal, but in voting against May's deal they have made that much more likely. Two documents were published as a result of the meeting, which May said would deliver the legally-binding changes to the withdrawal agreement MPs had asked for.

A spokesman for European Council President Donald Tusk, representing EU governments, said Britain would have to provide a "credible justification" for any request to delay Brexit. She said that the British Parliament is holding votes this week - "we will now wait for these votes and then we will decide".

In her statement to the United Kingdom parliament after the vote, May said there would be a debate and a vote on the so-called no-deal scenario on Wednesday, stressing that this was the matter of profound importance. The group met at 9am on Tuesday and is expected to decide whether to recommend accepting the assurances in the afternoon.

Many British lawmakers object to the backstop on the grounds that it could leave Britain subject to European Union rules indefinitely and cleave Northern Ireland away from the rest of the United Kingdom. John Whittingdale, a Brexit-supporting Conservative, said the attorney general's advice was "pretty terminal" for May's plan.

"If there is a solution to the current impasse, it can only be found in London", it said, adding that "today's vote has significantly increased the likelihood of a "no-deal" Brexit".

And she said the failure of the Commons to agree on a deal meant the issue should now be put back to the public in a fresh referendum.

Brexit is set to happen on 29 March. That raises the prospect of more uncertainty, including a potential delay to Brexit.

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Sterling see-sawed on Brexit news, falling in early trade on speculation that May could cancel the vote in parliament but later rising on news that May could travel to Strasbourg.

David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB, said it now "looks like any hopes of an unlikely victory for the PM's deal later have just been extinguished".

Mr Cox admitted that while the risk was reduced it could not be ruled out, shifting momentum against Mrs May. The EU Commission said it would "expect a credible justification" for the postponement.

If her deal is defeated, May has said she will give lawmakers a vote on Wednesday on leaving without a deal on March 29.

"Pleased with the agreement between Juncker and May".

German EU affairs minister Michael Roth, called it "a far-reaching compromise".

"What has to happen now is the House of Commons must vote decisively tomorrow to take no deal off the table completely".

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a Twitter message that he was "pleased with the agreement", adding: "An orderly #Brexit is crucial for both the European Union and the UK".

"The EU can not try to trap the United Kingdom in the backstop indefinitely, and that doing so would be an explicit breach of the legally binding commitments that both sides have agreed", Lidington said.

May herself has said that if her deal was rejected, Parliament would force the United Kingdom to maintain closer ties with the bloc in a betrayal of the referendum result of 2016.

Brexiteers in May's party accuse her of surrendering to the European Union and it was not clear if the assurances she agreed would be enough to win over the 116 additional lawmakers she needs turn around the crushing defeat her deal suffered on January 15.

"There will be no third chance".

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