Theresa May wins ‘legally binding’ Brexit assurances from EU ahead of crucial votes

Theresa May has secured “legally binding changes that strengthen and improve the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration,” Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, who is Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy, told parliament. Lidington said the sides had agreed a joint legally binding instrument on the Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol on Northern Ireland that confirms the EU cannot try to “trap” the United Kingdom in the Irish backstop indefinitely.

The United Kingdom’s tortuous crisis over EU membership is approaching its finale with an extraordinary array of outcomes still possible, including a delay, a last-minute deal, a no-deal Brexit, a snap election or even another referendum. The country voted to leave the EU in a 2016 plebiscite.

In January the British parliament voted to reject May’s deal by 230 votes, the biggest defeat for a government in modern British history. May has promised lawmakers a vote on her deal on Tuesday. If she loses that vote, she has said lawmakers will get a vote on Wednesday on whether to leave without a deal and, if they reject that, then a vote on whether to ask for a limited delay to Brexit.

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