Downing Street has just confirmed that the House of Commons will be asked to vote on the PM’s Brexit deal by 21 January. This comes just a day after Theresa May took a dramatic decision to postpone the crucial vote.
Meanwhile, the European Union has told May that they would not be renegotiating the Brexit divorce treaty or its Irish border protocol. May is in Europe today in a bid to save her deal.
“The deal we achieved is the best possible. It’s the only deal possible. There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation,” European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The most contentious issue has been the Irish “backstop”, an insurance policy that would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU in the absence of a better way to avoid border checks between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland. May’s critics say it could leave Britain subject to EU rules indefinitely.
“We have a common determination to do everything to be not in a situation one day to use that backstop, but we have to prepare,” he said, adding: “It’s necessary for the entire coherence of what we have agreed. It’s necessary for Britain and it’s necessary for Ireland. Ireland will never be left alone.”