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Brexit talks deadlocked day before Commons vote on May’s deal

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Brexit talks between the UK and the EU remain deadlocked, Downing Street has said just a day before MPs are due to vote again on Theresa May’s deal.

Mrs May spoke to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday night after a weekend of negotiations failed to find a breakthrough.

Talks will resume on Monday morning with the aim of securing changes to the deal before Tuesday’s vote.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the deal had not been substantially changed and “the prospect of another big loss looms.”

The government has been seeking changes to the Irish backstop, the safety net designed to maintain an open border on the island of Ireland, and only to be used as a last resort.

But the details of it were a sticking point for many MPs when they voted her deal down in January.

They worry that – in its current form – the backstop may leave the UK tied to the EU indefinitely.

Writing in the Daily Mail, pro-Brexit Environment Secretary Michael Gove said while the prime minister’s deal was a compromise, it should not be rejected “for that reason alone”.

Mr Gove also defended the backstop, saying that if it were to be used he could not imagine EU politicians “tolerating” it for long.

He appealed for unity among MPs and the country, and rejected the notion of a no-deal Brexit: “We didn’t vote to leave without a deal. That wasn’t the message of the campaign I helped lead.”

 

Source: BBC

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