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Any attempt by Theresa May to give her MPs a veto on the controversial Brexit“backstop” would amount to “ripping up the withdrawal agreement”, EU officials have warned.

 

Multiple EU sources have told The Independent that the move, designed to convince wavering Tory rebels to vote for the treaty next week, would start a new row with Brussels and potentially jeopardise the whole deal.

Speaking on Thursday morning the Prime Minister said the Northern Ireland backstop would not be “automatic” and that she was considering giving MPs a say on whether it came in.

The pledge appears to be the PM’s latest attempt to convince her MPs to vote for the deal at a crunch sitting of the Commons on Tuesday. A survey of parliamentary arithmetic currently suggests it will be rejected by a large margin. One Brussels official told The Independent: “We hope they’re not going to try this because it’s the same as ripping up the withdrawal agreement.”

Throughout talks the EU and Irish government insisted that any border backstop would have to be “all-weather” and could not have a time-limit or other get-out clauses. The bloc’s negotiators spent months in negotiations ruling out various mechanisms to end it early. The purpose of the legal mechanism is to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland no matter what else happens in Brexit talks.  Read More

 

Related news: Brexit: Full legal advice to be published after contempt vote.  Read More