January 29, 2019
PM backs Graham Brady’s amendment, which seeks to replace backstop with ‘alternative arrangements’
Brexit: May to ask EU to reopen withdrawal agreement over Irish backstop
Theresa May has announced to the Commons that she plans to return to Brussels and seek to reopen the painstakingly negotiated withdrawal agreement so as to seek legally-binding changes to the Irish backstop.
The prime minister confirmed that the government would back an amendment tabled by senior Tory backbencher Sir Graham Brady, which seeks to replace the Irish backstop with “alternative arrangements”.
“This amendment will give the mandate I need to negotiate with Brussels an arrangement that commands a majority in this house,” she said, denying charges from some MPs that seeking to reopen a deal the EU has repeatedly insisted is final was to pursue “fantasies”.
“What I’m talking about is not a further exchange of letters, but a significant and legally-binding change to the withdrawal agreement,” May said. “Negotiating such a change will not be easy. It will involve reopening the withdrawal agreement, a move for which I know there is limited appetite among our European partners.”
May noted that MPs had voted down her initial deal and made it plain they did not want a no-deal departure or an election: “So the world knows what this house does not want. Today we need to send an emphatic message about what we do want.”
Challenged by the Labour MP Peter Kyle about why she was backing a plan which went against her own deal, May said this was because she had yielded to the views of MPs.
“Time and time again, members on the opposition benches have stood up and asked me to listen to this house,” she said. “Now I come to this house having listened to the house, and they say you shouldn’t have done it.”
Before May spoke the Speaker, John Bercow, said he had selected Brady’s amendment among seven to be voted on at 7pm, as well as one from the Tory MP Dominic Grieve seeking to push the government to hold indicative votes on the way forward, and the Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s proposal to stop no deal.
The prime minister said these two proposals were “deeply misguided”, and had significant consequences.
“Both amendments seek to create and exploit mechanisms that allow parliament to usurp the proper role of the executive,” she said. “Such actions would be unprecedented and would have far-reaching implications for the way the UK is governed and for the balance of powers and responsibilities in our democratic institutions.”
The others were an official Labour amendment, which calls for a customs union; an SNP plan seeking an extension to article 50; a cross-party plan to extend article 50 and another cross-party amendment advising against no deal.
May said that if no deal were sealed by 13 February, the government would table another statement setting out what the government plans to do next, which MPs would be able to amend, giving them another opportunity to reject a no-deal Brexit.
Downing Street had previously insisted that reopening the 585-page withdrawal agreement was unacceptable to the EU27, and risked other governments trying to push for fresh concessions on other issues, such as fisheries or the status of Gibraltar.
But May’s official spokesman said the prime minister had told her cabinet that, “in order to win the support of the House of Commons, legal changes to the backstop will be required. That will mean reopening the withdrawal agreement.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chair of the backbench European Research Group, and the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, had both demanded a clear statement from May that she was willing to reopen the fraught issue of the backstop.
“We need to go back into the text of the treaty and solve the problem. That is the way to unite remainers and leavers in the Conservative party and across the country,” Johnson said.
May confirmed she would potentially back the so-called “Malthouse compromise” – a proposal thrashed out by the housing minister Kit Malthouse together with both Brexit and remain-backing MPs.
Answering an intervention from the Conservative MP Nicky Morgan, one of those involved in the plan, May called it “a serious proposal that we’re engaging with sincerely and positively”.
The prime minister is expected to hold calls with EU leaders later on Tuesday, to clear the way for another round of negotiations.
Senior Conservatives anxious that the government is drifting towards a no-deal Brexit, including the business minister Richard Harrington, had demanded that May set a two-week deadline for securing a settlement.
Downing Street also reiterated the government’s objections to the amendment tabled by Cooper and the former Conservative minister Nick Boles, paving the way for an extension of article 50.
Labour announced on Tuesday that it would whip its MPs to support the Cooper-Boles amendment, despite fears among some frontbenchers that voters would regard it as a bid to thwart Brexit.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Who will Timothée Chalamet date next? | Page Six Celebrity News
September 23, 2021
Oi6nhXNfwlA
Prince Harry imitates Queen Elizabeth during tribute to Prince Philip | Page Six Celebrity News
September 23, 2021
Wb3a0Tyeqo4
Ireland Baldwin embraces her ‘cellulite, stretch marks, curves’ in bikini | Page Six Celebrity News
September 23, 2021
FaEfmJ7iS5U
Kathryn Hahn to Play Joan Rivers, New Britney Documentary, Upcoming Oscar Buzz | The Take
September 24, 2021
G4sJJoWmbQ0
The 'Dear Evan Hansen' Cast & Creators Pick Their Go-To Broadway Karaoke Songs
September 23, 2021
u-5opSoo7ws
Lily-Rose Depp and director Nathalie Biancheri discuss ‘Wolf’ at TIFF 2021
September 17, 2021
aTPMyMhUKqE
Angelina Jolie Cleared to Sell Her Stake in Wine Biz with Brad Pitt | TMZ TV
September 24, 2021
qIFAA1-_Sk8
Dwight Howard Took Singing & Dancing Lessons For Masked Singer Appearance | TMZ
September 24, 2021
vFCo5El2Lr8
Jenny McCarthy Says New 'Masked Singer' Twist Will Test Judges' Egos | TMZ
September 23, 2021
zJsX-OnCQU0
Gigi Hadid & More Walk in Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Runway Show | E! News
September 24, 2021
ApL3b6EJUCI
Sarah Jessica Parker Honors Willie Garson in Touching Tribute | E! News
September 24, 2021
TWXRZMcAVzA
Elon Musk & Grimes Break Up After 3 Years Together | E! News
September 24, 2021
uTnIa8mqoLc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.