Brexit meaningful vote will not take place until January, it is confirmed

Sammy Wilson

The NI Secretary Karen Bradley has also said she will be backing the prime minister in the vote of no confidence.

"But we don't want the backstop to be used, and if it is we want to be certain that it is only temporary".

"The deal we have achieved is the best deal possible - it is the only deal possible", he said.

The government said that Mr Varadkar had spoken with Donald Tusk, the European Council president, last night and they had...

"But of course there is room enough to give further clarifications and further interpretations without opening the withdrawal agreement", he said.

"But we have to prepare: it's necessary for the entire coherence of what we have agreed with Britain and it is necessary for Ireland".

What is the Irish government's view?

"Ireland will never be left alone".

But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned there's "no room whatsoever" for renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement.

If that happens she can not be challenged for at least another year.




However, he said European Union leaders would try to facilitate ratification in Westminster when they meet for a scheduled summit in Brussels on Thursday.

With a United Kingdom parliamentary vote on the deal delayed until next month, May wants Europe to sweeten the offer with "reassurances" that measures to prevent the return of a hard border with Ireland would not last indefinitely.

The deal that May postponed a vote upon indicated that "Britain would remain largely within the European Union's customs and trade system for the next two years while a long-term pact is negotiated".

"Considerable efforts and very fruitful efforts have been made to ensure a cross-community and a cross-party support for a consensus in the North that is against Brexit, because Brexit is a British/Tory invention and all of this disruption isn't of our making of anyone in this house, it's the making of the Tories across the water", she said.

Ahead of their meeting, Mrs Foster underlined the precarious nature of Mrs May's position as she reaffirmed the DUP's implacable opposition to the backstop which, it says, impose a "border in the Irish Sea" between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The vote would have to take place before the deadline of 21 January which was the date specified in Article 50 for when the UK Government should have signed off on the deal.

If Mrs May does not win the vote there would then be a Conservative leadership contest in which she could not stand.

"We will put down a motion of no confidence when we judge it most likely to be successful", a party spokesperson said.

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