Brexit Vote Update #2: May Secures Changes to Withdrawal Deal


It would appear Theresa May has managed to secure new assurances from the European Union. Officially, May and the EU have agreed upon “legally binding changes” to the withdrawal agreement. The changes will not affect the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal. It will instead serve as legal assurances preventing the UK from being trapped indefinitely in a customs union.

Now comes the hard part. Between now and tomorrow morning May has to determine if the latest changes will be enough to push her agreement through a very skeptical Parliament on Tuesday. Her main target will be the 100 or so Tory MPs who voted down her seal last month. If she can sway a majority of these votes in her favor, the agreement has at least a fair chance of passing.

The date for the UK leaving the EU is 29 March. If necessary, Brussels has indicated that a one-time extension can be applied. This route is not one which the EU wants to see become reality because it could very well interfere with the EU Parliament elections set to take place in late May. If the UK is still an EU member when that date arrives there are significant legal obstacles that need to be hurdled beforehand.

Come tomorrow the fate of the agreement, and perhaps of Brexit entirely, will be in the hands of the MPs in London.

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