The vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal will be held on Tuesday 15th January, government sources confirm. The deal has been accepted by EU leaders, but needs to be approved by MPs before coming into effect.
A Brexit vote was initially called for last month, but was delayed by May as defeat looked inevitable. Since, she has attempted to seek assurances and renegotiate the deal with the EU. However, these have been largely unsuccessful.
However, sources within the government told BBC News that further assurances on the controversial backstop will be given, but these have been kept largely secret.
They are rumoured to include proposals to minimise any regulatory differences between Northern Ireland and the UK. There could be further possible safeguards for Parliament, with MPs perhaps being given a vote before the UK enters the backstop and the right to notify Brussels of the UK’s intention to quit the backstop within a specified time period.
The UK is due to leave the EU on 29th March this year whether the deal is passed by MPs or not. But, over 200 MPs have written to the Prime Minister, asking her to rule out a no-deal Brexit entirely.
May’s deal is facing strict opposition both from the opposition and some Conservative MPs. The DUP, who May needs to keep her in the majority, has made it clear that they cannot support the Brexit deal on the table.
Brexit minister Kwasi Kwarteng dismissed suggestions that the government had accepted it would lose next week’s vote and was planning on returning to Brussels. “The plan is to win the vote on Tuesday” he said, saying he was “very hopeful”.