Posted on Jan 29, 2019
Theresa May faces two major challenges in the House of Commons tonight. The first is the vote on an amendment put forward by senior Conservative MP Graham Brady calling for the Irish backstop to be replaced with unspecified “alternative arrangements” to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
Mrs. May has made it clear she would like her allies to vote through that amendment so she can go back to Brussels and demand changes to the withdrawal deal.
However, even if House Speaker John Bercow allows the vote to go ahead, which is far from certain, it may not achieve the required majority. Even if it does, the EU is unlikely to agree to this, even at the risk of a "no-deal" Brexit.
The second is an amendment by Labour MP Yvette Cooper that gives the government a deadline of Feb 26th to secure the backing of MPs for a viable deal, or see parliament gradually take more control of the whole process - leading to a likely delay of Brexit, and ultimately either a softer Brexit or even a possible second referendum. Its chances of succeeding seem fair.
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