ETheresa May told her Cabinet the only way to tackle the impasse was to amend the 585-page, legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement signed with the EU
The EU have roundly rejected the Prime Minister’s new Brexit plan just hours after MPs voted on it.
Theresa May told her Cabinet the only way to tackle the impasse was to amend the 585-page, legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement signed with the EU.
She whipped Tory MPs to support an amendment put forward by the chair of the backbench 1922 committee Graham Brady intending to show the EU she had support for her attempt to renegotiate the deal.
A No10 spokesman revealed on Tuesday morning Mrs. May is seeking alternative proposals to the ‘Irish backstop’; a time limit on the backstop; and a unilateral exit clause.
But it’s understood European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Mrs. May that the EU would not reopen the agreement before she asked the Commons to back it.
And following the result in favour of the Brady amendment the President of the European Council Donald Tusk denied that the EU was willing to reopen it.
He said: “Withdrawal agreement is and remains the best and only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
“The backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, and the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for re-negotiation.”
Earlier on Tuesday French President Emmanuel Macron, dealt her a blow when he publicly described the Withdrawal Agreement secured in November as “not renegotiable”.
Speaking at the Southern EU Countries Summit in Cyprus just moments before MPs were due to vote, Mr. Macron said: “As the European Council in December clearly indicated, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK and EU is the best agreement possible.
“It is not renegotiable.
“After the vote which is taking place now in the House of Commons in London, I hope that the British Government will rapidly present to our negotiator Michel Barnier the next steps which will allow the avoidance of a withdrawal without a deal, which no-one wants, but which we must all – despite everything – prepare for.”