Prime Minister Theresa May has told MPs that she cancelled the vote on the Brexit in order to renegotiate further changes in Brussels.
May told MPs that following the three days of debate on the deal, she had ‘listened very carefully’to her ministers and her party, and saw the need to respond to their ‘widespread and deep concern’ regarding the backstop agreement over the Irish border.
Based on her assessment of the opposition to the deal, she felt that it, ‘would be rejected by a significant margin’ had it been put to a vote tomorrow.
Despite this, she told the Commons that real changes had to be made to the Irish Border backstop in the post-Brexit period, and this could not simply be done with, ‘rhetoric’.
The PM would be seeking reassurances from EU leaders over the backstop as well as its permanance.
During her speech, the PM did not state when the Commons would be officially vote on the Brexit deal, instead indicating that the deadline for the vote would have to be 21st January.
The vote when then be decided based on the length of time, the talks took to reach an agreement.
By law, the UK has to leave the EU on March 29th 2019.
‘Get Brexit done and get it done right’, she told MPs.
Reject the backstop
It is understood that members of the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party oppose the ‘backstop’, a proposal which creates a binding customs union in Northern Ireland, between the UK and the EU.
Allowing it to continue would only result in regulations between the UK and Northern Ireland which had no definite end, and the UK would need the approval of the EU to leave it.
While rejecting alternatives to the deal and continuing to defend its worth, May also said that she wanted MPs to obligate the government, ‘to ensure that the backstop cannot be in place indefinitely’.
‘It is the right deal for Britain. I am determined to do all I can to secure the reassurances this House requires, to get this deal over the line and deliver for the British people’, May said.
The house reacts angrily
Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn was the first MP to pour cold water on the PM’s deal and her creditiblity to lead the country.
He stated that May was losing control of the situation and that she had to renegotiate with the EU on a better deal or stand down.
‘If the Prime Minister cannot make a better deal she must make way.’, Corbyn told the House.
He continued focusing on the projected damage the deal would have for the UK economy and that the government’s own analysis on the deal also shows that it makes the UK worse off.
The Labour leader’s comments were followed by similar rejactions from fellow MPs from the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Democratic Unionist Party.
Nigel Dodds, the Deputy leader of the DUP told the PM that the situation was, ‘quite frankly a bit of a shambles’ and that it demonstrated what happened when May crossed her ‘red lines’ on the issue of Northern Ireland.
Echoing Corbyn, Dodds said, ‘Come back with the changes to the withdrawal agreement or it will be voted down’
Threat of No-Confidence looms again
In addition to recognising the inadequacies of the deal, questions were also raised from well known figures like Sir Vince Cable, who was looking to table a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister.
Ths is something that Theresa has narrowly parried off recently but one of its ringleaders, Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg is trying to raise the 48 necessary letters to trigger to the No-Confidence vote.
For the Brexit deal to pass, it needs to be voted in by the UK Parliament.
According to Sky News earlier, the projected defeat would have seen 418 votes against to 187 in favour.
Check our previous article for reaction in the run-up to the discussion in Parliament Update: Theresa May likely to announce delay in Brexit vote
Prime Minister to make whistle-stop tour of European capitals
A statement has been released by Downing Street explaining that the Prime Minister is going, ‘to see her counterparts in other member states to discuss the concerns that Parliament has expressed’
May is expected to have a bilateral meeting with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague tomorrow.