Theresa May to face key votes in Parliament tonight

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. 

Read also: Momentum gathers behind British MPs' bid to stop no-deal Brexit

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

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