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Montevideo, July 18th 2019 - 15:10 UTC



Mrs. May willing to support amendments but insists in no delay for the Brexit withdrawal date

Tuesday, January 29th 2019 - 09:01 UTC
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Tory MPs will be told to vote for Sir Graham Brady's proposal when the Commons votes on a series of amendments to Theresa May's plan on Tuesday Tory MPs will be told to vote for Sir Graham Brady's proposal when the Commons votes on a series of amendments to Theresa May's plan on Tuesday

The United Kingdom government will support a backbench amendment to the Brexit deal that calls for the planned Irish backstop to be replaced by “alternative arrangements”. Tory MPs will be told to vote for Sir Graham Brady's proposal when the Commons votes on a series of amendments to Theresa May's plan on Tuesday.

The government will also order its MPs to vote against a move which could delay Brexit by up to nine months. But Commons Speaker John Bercow will decide which amendments get voted on.

Senior EU representatives have repeatedly ruled out re-opening negotiations with the UK over Brexit, and insisted the backstop - the insurance policy against a return of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland - must be included in any deal.

Meanwhile, the government announced its plans for EU citizens coming to the UK in the case of a no-deal Brexit, saying it would “seek to end free movement as soon as possible”.

The Home Office said that for a “transitional period” after Brexit - set for 29 March - EU citizens will be able to enter the UK to visit, work or study as they do now, but after three months they would need to apply for “European Temporary Leave to Remain”, which would last three years.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it was a “practical approach” and would “minimize disruption to ensure the UK stays open for business”.

MPs have been tabling amendments to the government's plans to try to influence the direction of Brexit since Mrs May lost the vote on her original deal earlier this month.

After Mr Bercow decides on Tuesday which ones are put forward, voting will take place on them from 19:00 GMT. The prime minister's official spokesman said it will be followed “as soon as possible” by a second meaningful vote on whatever deal has been secured with Brussels.

Mrs May addressed a meeting of her backbench MPs on Monday night and numerous sources told the BBC's political correspondent Iain Watson that she would be backing what is known as the “Brady amendment” - a measure put forward by Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee of Conservative MPs.

Sir Graham wants to see the Irish backstop replaced by what he calls “alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border”, but would otherwise support the prime minister's deal.

As a result of government support, Tory MPs John Baron and Andrew Murrison have dropped their amendments - which proposed a time limit to the backstop and the ability to leave the arrangement at a time of the UK's choosing.

The prime minister appealed to her MPs to give her something to take back to Brussels for further discussions, saying “don't just talk about it - you have to vote for it”.

Speaking to BBC News, Sir Graham said he hoped the backing from the government would see the DUP - who Mrs. May relies on for support in Parliament - get behind his amendment. And some Labour MPs had already expressed their support to him as well.

“This is a sensible way of reaching some compromise and trying to move things on in the national interest,” he added. But Euroskeptic Tories have already said they will not back the amendment.

The European Research Group, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, said they want the government to table its own amendment that would commit to reopening the withdrawal agreement - the part of Mrs May's deal that lays out how the UK will leave the EU - to remove the backstop.

A number of Remain-backing MPs are supporting an amendment by Labour MP Yvette Cooper that would create a bill enabling Article 50 - the mechanism by which the UK leaves the EU on 29 March - to be delayed by up to nine months if the government does not have a plan agreed in Parliament by the end of February.

Some, including Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, had called for a free vote on such an amendment, allowing them to give it their backing.

The main sticking point was the backstop - the “insurance policy” intended to ensure that whatever else happens, there will be no return to a visible border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Brexit.

Both the UK and the EU believe that bringing back border checks could put the peace process at risk, but critics of the plan say the backstop could tie the UK to many EU rules indefinitely. Irish deputy PM Simon Coveney has said changes to the backstop proposal would not be acceptable.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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  • Don Alberto

    Backbenchers must be very backwards, and the goverment made up by hill-billies.
    It's over. No amendments possible. Get used to it.
    Live luckily without the £350,000,000 promised by the leave creep.

    Everything will just fine as in 1946 and the late 1970s. Bread coupons and perhaps even a 4oz. meat coupon a week will be avaiable for everybody.

    Jan 29th, 2019 - 03:07 pm 0
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