Theresa May flies to Strasbourg in last-ditch bid to strike Brexit deal

Posted On: 
11th March 2019

Theresa May is flying to Strasbourg in a last-ditch bid to secure a new Brexit deal ahead of a crunch Commons vote.

Theresa May is facing a race against time to secure concessions from the EU.
PA Images

The Prime Minister hopes to reach an agreement with EU officials in time to table a new parliamentary motion by Monday evening.

The dramatic development came after Downing Street confirmed that a so-called "meaningful vote" will take place on Tuesday, although it remains unclear what it will be on.

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Speculation had been mounting that Mrs May would be forced to pull the vote to avoid yet another humiliating defeat.

But her official spokesman told journalists: "The meaningful vote will take place tomorrow. The motion will be tabled today ahead of that debate taking place, so you will all be able to see the content of it before close of play today."

Talks between British and European officials have been continuing in a bid to break the ongoing deadlock over proposed changes to the Irish backstop.

Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney announced that Mrs May was flying to Strasbourg on Monday afternoon, with just hours to spare before the latest Brexit deadline.

Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is expected to update MPs with an emergency statement to Parliament later today.

Tory Brexiteers want legally-binding assurances that the backstop - an insurance policy to ensure no return to a hard border in Ireland after Brexit - will be temporary before they will vote for the deal.

Meanwhile, Remain-backing Conservatives, including several Cabinet ministers, want a no-deal Brexit to be ruled out and for the Article 50 process to be extended to allow more time for a deal to be done.