Labour: MPs must reject May's Brexit deal

Ryanair has said it is putting plans in place to protect itself from a no-deal Brexit and ensure it will remain majority EU-owned and controlled

United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May has in Strasbourg secured last minute legal changes to the Irish backstop and is urging MPs to back her negotiated withdrawal agreement.

May is coming to Strasbourg, where the European Parliament and the European Commission meet this week, for talk with the head of the latter, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The UK has been seeking changes to the Irish backstop, an insurance policy created to maintain an open border on the island of Ireland between UK territory Northern Ireland and European Union member-state - the Republic of Ireland. That would give her a little more time for negotiation, but it also might spell the end of her office.

There was speculation that May might pull the meaningful vote, and ask MPs to vote on a provisional deal that she could bring back to the European Union with the backing of parliament.

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

He said: "If all that's happening is to turn this letter into an interpretative tool for legal purposes, I remind the House what the Prime Minister said on January 14 about this letter".

"There is a widely held view that the United Kingdom has not been negotiating in good faith over the last few days", he said, adding that at least one diplomat had mentioned planning for a "post-Theresa May government".

Environment secretary Michael Gove, a leading Brexiteer, appealed to rebel MPs to support May's deal in an article in the Daily Mail: "Forty-eight per cent of the country voted to remain". There are many, even in the Prime Minister's circle, who now expect Brexit to be delayed beyond March 29. If that option is voted down as well, the legislature will consider extending the Brexit deadline, now set for 29 March.

"Discussions are ongoing between ourselves and the EU", May's spokesman had earlier told reporters, insisting that Tuesday's vote would take place as planned.

"We are committed to ratifying this deal before 29 March", the spokesperson said, adding that it was now for Britain's MPs to set the course for the next steps for Brexit.

Ryanair chief executive officer Michael O'Leary
Ryanair chief executive officer Michael O'Leary

What happens if Parliament votes against a no-deal Brexit?

This threat of no deal has been central to May's all-or-nothing strategy to get MPs to back her Brexit plans.

Labour MPs pressing for a "common market 2.0" kind of Brexit said they were conducting intensive shuttle diplomacy between Jeremy Corbyn's team and Conservative MPs who might be ready to back the idea.

In the face of a revolt within her split cabinet, May has promised that if MPs defeat her plan, they will be able to vote Wednesday on whether to leave the European Union with no deal, or the following day on seeking a delay.

Britain's main opposition Labour Party also came out against the agreement.

In the face of a cabinet revolt, she promised that if her deal is defeated again then MPs will vote on "no deal" on Wednesday and then on Thursday, on delaying Brexit.

What's the likelihood Parliament would vote for a "no-deal Brexit"?

There has been speculation that the beleaguered prime minister may be forced to resign.

For pro-Brexit campaigners, that would be a betrayal of the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU. She has already survived votes of no confidence by her own party and Parliament as a whole.

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