(Title Image: The i newspaper)
On January 29th, the UK House of Commons voted 317-301 in favour of a proposal tabled by the chair of the Conservative 1922 Committee, Graham Brady MP, which gives the Prime Minister the authority to renegotiate the “backstop” arrangement contained within her recently defeated deal with the EU.
The backstop, as it currently stands, would put the UK in an indefinite customs arrangement with the EU and apply additional EU rules to Northern Ireland to enable the border with the Republic of Ireland to remain open and frictionless.
The backstop has been described as an “insurance policy” if the UK and EU are unable to agree to a long-term free trade agreement by the end of the proposed transition period in December 2020.
The House of Commons also voted in favour, by 318-310, to rule out a so-called “No Deal Brexit” where the UK leaves the EU on March 29th without any agreement – though this amendment is non-binding.
The EU has said the agreement is as good as it gets and are refusing to renegotiate the backstop.