Pound drops as hopes for Brexit vote fade

Brexit Talks 'Deadlocked' Despite Appeal to EU for Last-Minute Concession

Brexit Talks 'Deadlocked' Despite Appeal to EU for Last-Minute Concession

British Prime Minister had declared that she has secured the breakthrough which was required to get her the Brexit withdrawal agreement through a crunch vote in Parliament today evening.

"Technical" talks between officials took place in Brussels over the weekend and May spoke to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday night, although a Downing Street source said the negotiations were "deadlocked".

"The choice is this deal or Brexit might not happen at all", he said.

Ms May arrived in France for Brexit talks with Mr Juncker the day before the British Parliament is set to vote again on a divorce agreement.

On the eve of a crucial vote in the House of Commons on Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal, Michel Barnier said the British leader must negotiate with MPs rather than the EU.

May - her voice ragged after days of frantic shuttle diplomacy - had earlier told the House of Commons, "this is the moment and this is the time - time for us to come together, back this motion and get the deal done".

When MPs voted on the deal in January, 432 voted against, but 202 voted in favour.

Labour Party MPs slammed May for her handling of Brexit and for her deal, accusing her of promoting a "blindfold Brexit".

May cautioned that the European Union will need a reason to approve a delay.

May has promised to allow MPs to vote on a "no deal" option on Wednesday and if that is rejected, to decide on Thursday whether to ask the European Union to delay Brexit.

However Attorney General said that while it "reduced the risk" of the United Kingdom indefinitely remaining in the backstop, his legal opinion was unchanged that there was no unilateral way for the United Kingdom to exit the protocol.

The Strasbourg document was hailed as having achieved "legally-binding" changes to the withdrawal agreement.

Concerns over the border measure were the main reason Britain's parliament rejected the deal in January. "The intention is for it not to be used, like in every insurance policy and if it is ever used it will never be a trap - if either side acts in bad faith, there is a legal way for other party to exist", the European Union chief said.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will publish his legal opinion "in good time" before the debate, Lidington said.

The UK leave is scheduled for 29 March, but it is less than certain if the date will be respected.

Scores of Tory MPs put aside their objections and swung behind a hoarse-voiced PM after her final plea for unity, as she warned that "Brexit could be lost" if her deal was rejected again.

It is nearly certain that an unchanged withdrawal agreement would be defeated in the Commons, with a large eurosceptic faction of the Conservative party itself and the Demo¬cratic Unionist Party, which props up May's minority government, all set to say nay.

Top EU officials warned that the defeat had increased the chances of a chaotic "no-deal" British exit, which could mean major disruption for businesses and people in the United Kingdom and numerous 27 remaining EU countries. But if May loses Tuesday's vote, she'll back to square one - leading to a second vote on Wednesday and a possible third one on Thursday.

So even if Mrs May persuaded the other 115 Conservative rebels to toe the party line, she would still be one short of securing her deal.

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