Published: Tue, October 23, 2018

Brexit deal 95% done says Theresa May

Brexit deal 95% done says Theresa May

"Personal vitriol has no place in our politics".

British Prime Minister Theresa May views a vehicle on a production line during a visit to the Jaguar Land Rover factory on September 1, 2016 in Solihull, England.

Mrs May told leaders of the remaining European Union member states in Brussels that she was willing to consider extending the transition period by a year.

In a Commons statement after talks with European Union leaders in Brussels, the prime minister will say the "shape of the deal across the vast majority" of the withdrawal agreement was now clear.

Protocols have been developed on how Brexit will impact Gibraltar and the UK's military base in Cyprus.

Taking the unusual step of briefing planned remarks to the Commons in advance, May will conclude that "taking all of this together, 95 per cent of the withdrawal agreement and its protocols are now settled" in talks that she has until now largely insisted on keeping secret.

The most mind-boggling paradox about the impasse over the Northern Ireland backstop is that if it leads to a no-deal Brexit there would be nerve-wracking uncertainty about whether the 300-mile border between NI and the Republic would and could be kept open - which is precisely what the backstop is created to prevent. Under party rules May needs to win the support of just over half - 158 - to win a vote of no confidence, but many believe that she may not be able to continue as prime minister if more than 100 MPs were to vote against her.

"This week, Theresa May will find that she is drinking in the last chance saloon and the bad news for her is that the bar is already dry", he told The Mail on Sunday.

In votes during the passage of the EU Withdrawal Bill, the government avoided defeat on the crucial Brexit legislation by promising MPs they would get a "meaningful vote" that allowed the motion putting the deal before the Commons to be amended.


But a no-confidence vote could still be on the cards.

"We are at the end stage of the negotiation", he added. There will be a vote in Parliament that follows.

May said she is prepared to "explore every possible option" to break the deadlock in Brexit talks.

The mayor of London's comments come ahead of his meeting this week with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in which Khan will emphasise the need for far closer economic ties.

Duncan Smith said: "We are presenting some ideas which we think are constructive and we had a constructive discussion". We received no response at the time of going to press.

However, she said no solution on the backstop can undermine the integrity of the UK.

While Khan predicts that Labour will oppose May's final Brexit deal, Tory whips hope that enough Labour MPs can be persuade to back it in order to outnumber hardline Tory rebels.

As well as the transition period, May will expect tough questions from MPs on the controversial "backstop" policy for preserving the frictionless Irish border no matter what the outcome of Brexit talks.

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