European Union rules out renegotiation of Brexit withdrawal agreement

UK preparing 'state of emergency' in case of No Deal Brexit disorder

One Tuesday night, in a series of votes on parliamentary amendments, they will set out what they want her to do next.

There is a March 29 deadline, when Britain is scheduled to leave the EU with or without a deal, and fears are mounting that an exit without an agreement in place could cause chaos at ports, medicine and food shortages, and severely damage the British and, to a lesser degree, European economies.

She is hoping that if she can show Brussels that the Commons would back her deal without the backstop, they might think again.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has refused to join talks with May to find a way out of the impasse, asked which of the red lines she had changed since the deal was defeated two weeks ago: "She is refusing to accept the clearly stated will of this House".

"I think we should send the Prime Minister back to Brussels with a strong mandate to be able to say if you compromise with us on this one issue, on the backstop, we would be able to a get an agreement - an agreement that is nearly there", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

European Union leaders have ruled out any renegotiation, but May urged Parliament to give her a mandate by backing a call for the border measure to be replaced by unspecified "alternative arrangements".

May has urged them to support one measure that calls for the current backstop to be replaced with "alternative arrangements" - but the amendment, crafted by members of May's own Conservative Party, is unlikely to pass as pro-Brexit lawmakers believe it would fail to force significant changes to the measure.

A look at some of the amendments that are most likely to be discussed.

Prime Minister Theresa May addressing the House of Commons. Currently, the backstop clause would indefinitely keep Britain in a customs union with the EU if no other way were found to avoid physical border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Senior Conservative lawmaker Graham Brady has put forward a proposal, known as an amendment, calling for the backstop to be removed and replaced with "alternative arrangements".

Britain is reportedly making plans to declare a "state of emergency" and introduce martial law in the event of disorder breaking out following a No Deal Brexit.

Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement, which includes a almost two-year transition period to help minimise economic disruption, earlier this month.

The government benches delighted in the defeat of Yvette Cooper's amendment too, which could have ensured a "no deal" Brexit was blocked.

Some Brexit-backing Conservative lawmakers, who voted against May earlier this month, have indicated they would support her divorce deal "subject to this change".

The PM can choose to ignore the amendment, tabled by Tory MP Caroline Spelman, however, as it is not legally binding. "We need to go back into the text of the treaty and solve the problem".

But May's hopes of reopening the Withdrawal Agreement struck with the European Union last November were dealt a blow by French president Emmanuel Macron, who described it as "not renegotiable".

May said it was a chance to "tell Brussels that the current nature of the backstop is the key reason Parliament can not support this deal".

Anti-Brexit MPs believe the European Union will not agree to the proposal, and pushing ahead with it simply wastes time that could be spent striking a different deal. Any proposals approved by parliament on those days would not be binding on the government but would be politically hard to ignore.

Tory grandee Sir Graham said he hoped House of Commons backing would give Mrs May "enormous firepower" when she returns to Brussels to seek concessions on her Brexit deal.

Anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray who is nearly permanently demonstrating outside the Houses of Parliament watches the traffic as he holds up placards in London on Monday. "I have called for a free vote for the amendments on Tuesday, and we'll see what position the government takes". "The Cooper Bill could give MPs a temporary window to agree a deal that can bring the country together".

Labour said it would seek to shorten any delay to Brexit, which is now set at nine months by Cooper.



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