Theresa May in last ditch effort to convince MPs to back her Brexit deal

Theresa May urges MPs to vote for her Brexit deal tomorrow after the EU gives further reassurances • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says if May's deal is rejected 'it's time for a new government'

Prime Minister Theresa May has been headstrong so far, insisting that she would follow through with the democratic will of the British people in leaving the EU, but her Brexit deal is expected to fail tomorrow
Prime Minister Theresa May has been headstrong so far, insisting that she would follow through with the democratic will of the British people in leaving the EU, but her Brexit deal is expected to fail tomorrow

Prime Minister Theresa May has told British MPs that if the Brexit vote passes tomorrow in parliament, the EU would commit to two years of negotiations, avoiding the need for a backstop altogether.

"Contrary to the fears of some honourable members, the EU will not insist that the backstop is the only way to avoid a hard border," she said.

The backstop suggests that Northern Ireland would keep following EU regulations, creating checks and tariffs on some goods travelling to the rest of the UK.

If, however, Northern Ireland decides to pull away from the EU along with the rest of Britain, a hard border with the Republic of Ireland will have to be put in place.

It has to be seen whether May has managed to sell her deal to a largely sceptical parliament.

The EU has accepted to extend the implementation period if necessary and to come up with technological arrangements to replace the backstop with permanent arrangements.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said in response that "today's letter is nothing more than a repetition of what she pulled one month ago, contains no legal reassurances but simple aspirations... today's letter means nothing. Members of the House will not be fooled."

He added that if the deal is rejected tomorrow, "it's time for a new government."

The debate on how to go through with Brexit has been going on for a while now and it comes to a head tomorrow when MPs will be asked to vote on the exit deal negotiated by May.

The British prime minister has lost many of her cabinet members, 13 so far, over the Brexit deal she brought back from Brussels last year. They resigned because they disagreed with the proposed deal. 

For this reason, several MPs believe that tomorrow's vote is a waste of time since May's deal will not be backed by an overwhelming majority of MPs, including several members of her own cabinet.

What may happen if the Prime Minister loses the vote tomorrow:

1. She resigns

Although May has been obstinate so far in delivering an agreeable deal on Brexit, another clear 'NO' would be a sure sign for her to step down as her predecessor David Cameron did when the referendum result was announced back in 2016.

2. Another no-confidence vote

Despite Labour's attempt to table a no-confidence vote in May last month, the party was not allowed time to debate it. It was more of a symbolic gesture on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's part.

However, failing a 'yes' vote to May's deal tomorrow, Labour is expected to call a vote of no-confidence in the government at large under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

This will of course trigger a general election. Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, has said that if May loses the vote, the Prime Minister has a constitutional obligation to call a general election.

3. Headstrong persuasion

Theresa May's deal is not a popular one. A total of 13 conservatives have in fact resigned because they do not support it.

But Europe has warned time and time again that this is the best deal Britain can get in relinquishing EU membership.

May can remind parliament of this fact and tell the members that they have no choice but to accept what she has offered, ultimately putting the same deal to the House of Commons once again, quite surely for the last time.

4. Return to Brussels

As we've said in the previous point, the possibility of renegotiation of the Brexit deal does not seem to be on the cards. Europe made it clear that the current deal is the best it can do.

Still, this is a possibility by a stretch of the imagination—May could go back to Brussels and plead for further negotiations.

If she comes back with a new deal or an update to the current deal, she would put it to parliament for a fresh vote.

5. Another referendum

This possibility has been rejected time after time by May herself as she vowed to answer to the democratic process and the will of the people to leave the EU as the referendum results revealed in 2016.

However, cornered May could see no way out but to call for another referendum and pass the buck to the public once again.

It's quite possible that the referendum may present a choice between her deal and no deal. It's not likely, but it might also include the option of remaining in the EU.

What happens if May wins the vote:

Britain would leave the EU on 29 March and the Brexit deal will be written into law.

That means that the infamous proposed 'backstop' will become a reality. At least temporarily.

Britain would then negotiate its future relationship with the EU over the next two years.

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