Brexit hangs in balance over tweaked deal

No Majority in British Parliament for Second Brexit Referendum: Reuters Analysis

No Majority in British Parliament for Second Brexit Referendum: Reuters Analysis

She probably hasn't secured enough concessions from Brussels to win over lawmakers, leaving her with just one strong card to play: If they vote down her deal, Brexit could be abandoned in all but name - or even altogether.

He welcomed the agreement reached between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) on Monday night as "positive" and urged the British Parliament to vote for it on Tuesday night to lift the "dark cloud" of Brexit, reports the Guardian.

At a late-night news conference Monday in Strasbourg, France, May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced changes created to overcome lawmakers' concerns about provisions created to ensure the border between EU member Ireland and Britain's Northern Ireland remains open after Brexit.

"But if we ever have to use that insurance policy, it can not become a permanent arrangement and it is not the template for our future relationship", she added.

In Westminster, the chairman of a research group of pro-Brexit MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg said his group has a team of lawyers reviewing the agreement.

"What then happens with local people wanting to go about their business, wanting to get to hospitals, wanting to get their kids to school, all of that kind of stuff?" he said.

The British government also published the text of the motion for Tuesday's vote.

The deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union is fast approaching, and unless British parliamentarians decide otherwise, it remains 29 March 2019.

May has secured "legally binding changes" which improve the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, who May's de facto deputy, told the British parliament.

Parliament is due to vote later on the divorce deal, a day after talks with the European Union produced promises that a contentious section of the agreement couldn't be used to tie Britain to the bloc indefinitely.

If the deal is voted down again, on the following two days lawmakers are expected to discuss and vote on two amendments.

Concerns over the border measure were the main reason Britain's parliament rejected the deal in January. The impasse has raised fears of a chaotic "no-deal" Brexit that could mean major disruption for businesses and people in Britain and the 27 remaining European Union countries.

The British parliament voted to reject May's deal in January by 230 votes, the biggest margin of defeat in modern British history.

While May has said she wants to stay on in power to deliver a domestic legacy, the votes in Parliament this week might determine the length of her remaining time in Downing Street.

On the border, the UK Government said it would remove all checks except a "small number of measures strictly to comply with global obligations, protect the biosecurity of the island of Ireland, or to avoid the highest risks to Northern Ireland business".

The border at the moment is invisible, and people, goods and services can travel through it freely.

The joint UK-EU statement in the non-binding political declaration commits both sides to develop new technologies at the border to replace the need for the backstop by December 2020.

Due to the sensitive nature of the region and because the free passage is one of the crucial articles of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, the U.K., EU, Northern Ireland and Ireland all reject the idea of returning to a hard border where checkpoints and customs buildings will need to be installed.

The party's position on the border backstop could also influence how some Tory Brexiteers approach the issue.

Many Brexiteers anxious that the backstop, aimed at avoiding controls on the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland, could trap the United Kingdom in the EU's orbit indefinitely.

Asked if the PM had considered resigning if her deal was defeated on Tuesday, her spokesman said he had not discussed the matter with Mrs May, but added: "I have seen nothing at all to suggest that".