How to watch the Brexit crunch like a pro

EU leaders are due to consider a request to extend the Brexit deadline on Thursday.

European leaders gather in Brussels at a defining moment in the Brexit process. Little more than a week before the U.K. is scheduled to leave there is still no agreement on an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period.

The alternatives? A revocation of the U.K.’s notice to leave which Prime Minister Theresa May has already deemed unthinkable, and a no-deal exit that most observers predict would mean a serious economic shock.

Here are the key moments to watch out for during the European Council summit and beyond:

Wednesday – Two letters

The prime minister wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk Wednesday setting out her request for an extension — until June 30. We’ll also see Tusk’s own invitation letter to EU leaders arriving for Thursday’s summit, where he will set the framework for their discussion of May’s request.

Theresa May arriving at the European Summit in December 2018, flanked by Tim Barrow the U.K.’s permanent representative to the EU | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Under the terms agreed by the House of Commons last week, May was going to ask for a short extension up to June 30, if MPs had backed her Brexit deal by today. They haven’t. The motion agreed by the House of Commons was not 100 percent clear on what May will do in the current circumstances. It only notes that the EU would want a reason from the U.K. for any extension that would involve the U.K. taking part in European Parliament election in May.

Meanwhile, in the House of Commons there is likely to be a call for an emergency debate on May’s Brexit extension intentions, as well as two Brexit-related urgent questions from backbenchers.

Thursday – EU leaders meet 

Attention will shift to the EU leaders and their response. The first item on the European Council summit agenda is a meeting of the EU27 (without Theresa May) to discuss the state of play. This is due to start at 3.30 p.m. Brussels time, but watch out for what EU27 leaders say on their way into the summit.

“An extension for what? Which ones are the objectives?” — EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

Afterwards, Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are due to give a press conference at 7 p.m. Brussels time. The summit dinner, which May is expected to attend, begins at 7.30 p.m. The topic for discussion during dinner is China, but there’s still a chance that Brexit could feature.

What EU leaders will decide depends on what May requests. But EU officials said their paramount goals are to avoid a potentially catastrophic no-deal departure by the U.K. and to safeguard the functioning of EU institutions by trying to limit the potential complications an extension would pose for the European Parliament election in May.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier said EU leaders will demand a purpose. “An extension for what? Which ones are the objectives?” he asked Tuesday.

However, despite all the action, we won’t necessarily get a firm answer from the EU to the U.K.’s extension request. Juncker told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio station on Wednesday morning that the European Council likely won’t come to a decision this week and that “we’ll probably have to meet again next week.”

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said EU leaders would probably not reach a decision on an Article 50 extension at this week’s summit | John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

He indicated that May would require “approval of the treaty that’s been negotiated” from Cabinet and parliament in order for leaders to agree an extension. If that’s the case the chances of no deal just shot up, because at the moment there is still no indication May has won round enough MPs to vote for her deal.

Friday — Summit day two

EU leaders are scheduled to turn to other non-Brexit business for the second day of the summit on Friday.

May will still be present, and it’s possible she will hold a press conference after the summit ends in the afternoon (if she hasn’t already spoken to the media on Thursday — no decisions have yet been made).

Another Tusk/Juncker press conference is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Brussels time.

The weekend — Last chance to persuade MPs?

Depending on what happens at the summit, May might be spending the weekend frantically trying to win over MPs to back her deal in a possible final attempt at ratification next week.

Monday — Amendable Brexit motion

On Monday, the House of Commons could seize control from May’s hands.

A government motion on Brexit, required under the terms of the Withdrawal Act following May’s latest defeat on her Brexit deal, must be debated by this day in the House of Commons. It’s an amendable motion and MPs will be able to vote on any amendments brought forward — much like previous rounds of voting we saw in January and February.

The votes themselves would be non-binding on the government but there is a mechanism by which MPs could take control of the Commons timetable, paving the way for binding legislation. This is what Labour MP Yvette Cooper, Tory MP Nick Boles and likeminded MPs have already attempted (so far without winning a majority) but they may try a similar gambit.

Later next week — Emergency summit?

Such is the uncertainty of the current moment, it’s hard to predict far beyond the next few days.

But Juncker’s comment suggests that Brussels is gearing up for a potential emergency EU summit. That may only happen if May has somehow got her deal through the House of Commons.

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow put a spanner in Theresa May’s plans for a third meaningful vote on her Brexit deal | Alex B. Huckle via Getty Images

To do that she needs to persuade Speaker John Bercow that the deal on the table is substantially different to the ones already put to MPs. Bercow said on Monday that re-running the vote on the same deal again and again was a breach of House of Commons convention that he would not allow.

If an extension is agreed, then there will need to be a debate and vote in both the Commons and the Lords on the legal change to the March 29 Brexit date in U.K. law. Ministers can change it using a so-called statutory instrument but peers and MPs need to agree. Brexiteers in the Commons will do everything they can to retain the original date.


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UK parliament votes to delay Brexit

The vote leaves open whether the delay will allow time to implement the existing deal or to find a new course of action.

The House of Commons voted in favor of delaying Brexit day beyond March 29, either to give time to implement a deal or to give time for an alternative course of action.

MPs voted by 412 to 202 (a majority of 210) in favor of a government motion that Theresa May was effectively forced into laying before the house after parliament voted Wednesday night to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

The motion sets out two scenarios for extending the Article 50 negotiation period. In the first, the House of Commons approves the prime minister’s deal by Wednesday March 20. She then goes to the European Council summit the following day requesting an extension until June 30 simply to get technical Brexit legislation through parliament.

May is expected to bring her deal back for a third meaningful vote on Monday or Tuesday next week to try and make this happen.

The second scenario deals with no approval for her deal by March 20. In that case, May will still go to the European Council seeking the extension. But the motion also notes that the EU would be “highly likely” to require a “clear purpose” for an extension, and that any extension beyond June 30 “would require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.”

The latter element, simply stating the legal position that British MEPs will need to sit in the new European Parliament if the U.K. is a member when it is formed, appears to be aimed at spooking Brexiteers into voting for May’s deal to prevent such a scenario.

In an earlier vote, MPs voted down an amendment put down by former Tory MP Sarah Wollaston proposing a second Brexit referendum. It was defeated by 334 votes to 85, a majority of 249.

They also narrowly rejected a plan for backbench MPs to seize control of the Brexit process from the government by 314 votes to 312.

How to watch tonight’s Brexit votes like a pro

MPs are seeking to take control of the Brexit process from Theresa May’s government.

LONDON — It’s another hugely important day in Brexit, with MPs set to vote on whether to instruct Theresa May to seek an extension of the Article 50 negotiating period until June 30 or potentially beyond.

MPs will begin voting at 5 p.m. local time and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow selected four amendments for voting. The amendments would be non-binding but one, put down by Labour MP Hilary Benn and others, would set in train a parliamentary process that could lead to legally binding decisions.

Here’s what MPs will be voting on:

The government’s motion 

The motion sets out two scenarios for extending the Article 50 negotiation period. In the first, the House of Commons approves the prime minister’s deal by Wednesday March 20. She then goes to the European Council summit the following day requesting an extension until June 30 simply to get technical Brexit legislation through parliament. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested an alternative end-date for an extension of May 23, so this could be a matter for debate at European Council.

May is expected to bring her deal back for a third meaningful vote on Monday or Tuesday next week to try and make this happen.

The second scenario deals with no approval for her deal by March 20. In that case, May will still go to the European Council seeking the extension. But the motion also notes that the EU would be “highly likely” to require a “clear purpose” for an extension, and that any extension beyond June 30 “would require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.”

The latter element, simply stating the legal position that British MEPs will need to sit in the new European Parliament if the U.K. is a member when it is formed, appears to be aimed at spooking Brexiteers into voting for May’s deal to prevent such a scenario.

The government’s motion will be voted on after the amendments, so it might therefore not be put to MPs in its current form.

The Benn Amendment (i)

This has been put forward by the group of senior MPs, including Labour’s Yvette Cooper, Tory Oliver Letwin and Brexit committee chair Hilary Benn, who have been at the forefront of efforts to allow the House of Commons to wrest control of the Brexit process from Theresa May. It accepts an extension until June 30, but seeks a cast-iron guarantee of parliamentary time for backbenchers to put forward a motion on the way forward. Under the terms of the amendment this motion would be put forward on Wednesday next week.

It is likely that the MPs spearheading the process would then use the motion to establish a process of indicative votes — probably during the week commencing March 25. If it passes, would that be sufficient justification for the EU27 to grant an extension?

European Council President Donald Tusk | Aris Oikonomou/AFP via Getty Images

This morning European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he would urge leaders “to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its #Brexit strategy and build consensus around it.” So maybe.

In his opening statement in the debate on the motion, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington appeared to try and spike the Benn amendment by making his own pledge of a House of Commons process to find a way forward if, by next week’s European Council, May’s deal has not been agreed.

In such a scenario, he said, the government would for two weeks after the summit “consult through usual channels with other parties and we would work to provide a process by which the House could form a majority on how to take things forward.” Which sounds a lot like indicative votes.

The Wollaston Amendment (h)

Put forward by Independent Group MP Sarah Wollaston and other backers of a second referendum, this amendment will give the House of Commons a clear cut opportunity to vote on whether to hold a so-called People’s Vote. Brexiteers were furious that a rival amendment, seeking to rule out a second referendum, was not selected by Bercow.

However, the amendment appeared to be doomed after Labour said they would not support it. Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said that “today is about extending Article 50 and moving on from there.” This followed a statement from the People’s Vote campaign, which also indicated that they did not think today was the right moment to call for a second vote. Could this be because there clearly isn’t a majority in the House of Commons for it yet?

The Bryant Amendment (j)

This one, put forward by Labour MP Chris Bryant, is a bit of a curveball, but could prove hugely significant. It makes the argument that under the terms of Erskine May, the parliamentary rule book, governments should not bring forward the same motion again and again in the same parliamentary session. The amendment calls for Theresa May not to bring forward her Brexit deal for a third meaningful vote (now known in Whitehall as MV3).

Expectations are that May will try to bring MV3 before the House of Commons before the European Council, probably on Tuesday next week. If the Benn Amendment passes, taking over the parliamentary timetable on Wednesday, that would be her last chance before the Brussels summit.

The Labour Amendment (e)

The final amendment on the order paper is Labour’s frontbench amendment which simply asks for an extension as an opportunity to find a majority way forward. Voting on that will likely proceed along party lines and so it probably won’t pass.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium Brexit service for professionals: Brexit Pro. To test our our expert policy coverage of the implications and next steps per industry, email pro@politico.eu for a complimentary trial.


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UK parliament votes to reject no-deal Brexit

MPs are concerned that leaving the EU without a deal on March 29 would damage the UK economy.

LONDON — MPs voted outright to reject a no-deal Brexit, paving the way for a vote on whether Theresa May will ask the EU to agree a delay to Brexit.

The vote, which passed by 312 to 308 is non-binding on the government. It came in the form of an amendment to a government motion which, while also rejecting a no-deal exit on March 29 — the current legal date of departure — had nevertheless noted that leaving without a deal remains the legal default.

The amendment, put forward by Conservative MP Caroline Spelman, removed this acknowledgement that no deal remains the legal default, in an apparent bid to remove any ambiguity about the government’s intentions.

Prior to the vote May had pledged that, if the government’s motion passed, she would put forward a further motion on extending the Article 50 negotiating period, to be voted on Thursday.

It is not clear yet whether the pledge still applies now that the amendment, rather than the main motion, has passed, but May would face a serious political backlash from many Conservatives in government who want to see an extension, if she were to backpedal.

To give MPs’ rejection of no deal legal force, May must formally request an extension from the EU27, who must reach a unanimous decision on whether or not they will grant it.

Spelman herself did not ultimately vote for her own amendment, saying that she wanted to see a large vote for the government’s motion to reject no deal, rather than a smaller majority for her amendment.


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UK Chancellor: Brexit deal ‘dividend’ if MPs can agree a way forward

Philip Hammond urges MPs to “build a consensus” for a deal as he delivers his spring budget statement.

LONDON — U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond hinted at a major boost in public spending plans within months of leaving the EU if the country can exit with a deal.

Delivering his spring budget statement today, after MPs once again rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, Hammond said that if the U.K. could leave the EU with an agreement, it would see “a deal dividend” for the British economy, fueled by renewed business confidence and investment, and the release of financial reserves he has set aside to guard against the risk of an economically disruptive no-deal Brexit.

Hammond, one of the Cabinet’s chief advocates of a close economic relationship with the EU after Brexit, said that to leave with no deal would lead to higher unemployment, lower wages and higher prices for consumers.

“The progress we have made will be at risk if we cannot secure a smooth and orderly exit from the EU,” Hammond said. “Leaving with no deal would mean significant disruption in the short and medium term and a smaller, less prosperous economy in the long term … high unemployment, lower wages, higher prices in the shops. That is not what the British people voted for in June 2016.”

He hinted at a stimulus package to shore up the economy in such a scenario, but warned that any “monetary response” would have to be carefully planned to avoid exacerbating inflation caused by a likely devaluing of the pound.

Growth has slowed in recent months, in part because of “heightened uncertainty related to Brexit” — Office for Budget Responsibility

However, if the U.K. were to leave with a deal, Hammond pledged to launch a three-year spending review before the summer, with a focus on funding for the “public’s priorities” including social care, schools and police.

In this scenario, the chancellor said the country would be able to choose how much of the “deal dividend” to spend on public services. He said the government has “headroom” of £26.6 billion above its “fiscal mandate,” which requires the budget deficit to be below 2 percent of GDP by 2020-21, and it’s likely that some of this could be released to fund new spending priorities.

He claimed the spending would mark “an end to austerity” — a totemic pledge that May committed to in her Conservative Party conference speech last year.

He urged MPs to start “building a consensus” for a deal across the House of Commons.

This evening MPs will vote on whether they are prepared to see the U.K. leave the EU without a deal on the current legal date of March 29. If no-deal is rejected, MPs will vote on Thursday on whether they want May to seek an extension of the Article 50 negotiating period, delaying Brexit.

Hammond earmarked Thursday’s vote as the start of the process toward the Commons agreeing “a deal we can collectively support to exit the EU in an orderly way.”

In their economic forecast published alongside Hammond’s statement, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility projected that U.K. GDP would grow 1.2 percent in 2019, with growth settling at around 1.5 percent per year in the medium term. However, the forecast could not take into full account the unknown impact of a potential no-deal Brexit. Growth has slowed in recent months, in part because of “heightened uncertainty related to Brexit,” they said.

Besides Brexit, Hammond used his statement to set out a range of measures to encourage lower carbon emissions and boost biodiversity. He also announced an additional £100 million in funding for police to help combat a recent, widely discussed rise in knife crime in the U.K.

This article has been updated.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium Brexit service for professionals: Brexit Pro. To test our our expert policy coverage of the implications and next steps per industry, email pro@politico.eu for a complimentary trial.


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UK to cut tariffs to zero on 87 percent of imports in no-deal Brexit

Mixture of tariff rates would be retained for some goods, including on agricultural imports and cars.

LONDON — The U.K. would temporarily cut tariffs to zero on 87 percent of imports in the event of a no-deal Brexit in order to avoid “potential price spikes” hitting consumers, ministers said Wednesday.

A mixture of tariff rates would be retained for some goods, including on agricultural imports and cars.

The emergency tariff regime would apply for up to 12 months, according to a government briefing issued Wednesday morning.

After Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected by the House of Commons for a second time Tuesday, MPs will vote later Wednesday on whether to leave the EU with no deal on the legal date of March 29.

Trade Policy Minister George Hollingbery said the government “must prepare for all eventualities.”

“If we leave without a deal, we will set the majority of our import tariffs to zero whilst maintaining tariffs for the most sensitive industries,” he said. “This balanced approach will help to support British jobs and avoid potential price spikes that would hit the poorest households the hardest.”

Tariffs on beef products would be set at 53 percent of the EU most-favored-nation rate, while tariffs on poultry products would be set at 60 percent of the EU most-favored-nation rate. Sheep meat would attract the existing EU most-favored-nation rate.

While finished cars would attract a tariff rate of 10.6 percent, no tariffs would apply to car parts required by manufacturers reliant on EU supply chains.

Some minimal tariff rates would also apply to ceramics, fertilizers and textiles.

A set of goods including bananas, raw cane sugar and some kinds of fish would also attract tariffs to protect preferential arrangements the U.K. holds with exporters in developing countries.

The tariff regime will not apply to goods crossing the Northern Ireland border, for which the U.K. today announced a set of temporary, unilateral measures for avoiding checks in the event of no deal.

UK to unilaterally waive all checks at Irish border in no-deal Brexit

Temporary regime would permit unmonitored flow of goods and exploitation of the new system by smugglers, officials acknowledge.

LONDON — The U.K. would unilaterally waive checks on all goods crossing the Northern Ireland border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as part of a temporary regime in the days immediately after the U.K.’s exit, ministers said Wednesday.

In such a scenario, the U.K. would seek to immediately enter talks with the EU and the Irish government to find a long-term solution, according to a government briefing.

The temporary regime would permit the unmonitored flow of goods and exploitation of the new system by smugglers, officials acknowledged.

Tariffs which would apply to 87 percent of imports in the event of no deal would not be levied on goods crossing the Northern Ireland border. The existing VAT regime for traders would remain in place, and small traders not currently registered would be allowed to report online only periodically.

However, animal and animal products from outside the EU would need to enter Northern Ireland through a designated port. There would be new import requirements on a small number of goods, such as endangered species and hazardous chemicals, but these would not involve infrastructure or checks at the border, the government said.

After Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected by the House of Commons for a second time Tuesday, MPs will vote later Wednesday on whether to leave the EU with no deal on the legal date of March 29.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said the measures “can only be temporary and short-term.”

She added: “We will do all we can to support people and businesses across Northern Ireland in the event that we leave without a deal.”

Second Brexit deal defeat throws UK politics into crisis

Rejection by House of Commons leaves Theresa May’s strategy in tatters.

LONDON — MPs in Westminster dealt another crushing defeat to the Brexit deal agreed between the U.K. and the EU, voting against it by 391 to 242 — a majority of 149.

It is the second time that the House of Commons has rejected the deal following the thumping 230-vote margin of defeat when Prime Minister Theresa May first called a ratification vote in January. The defeat leaves May’s government in jeopardy and U.K. politics in crisis, with deep uncertainty about the next steps for Brexit.

Immediately after the vote, May, barely audible because of a sore throat, said she “profoundly” regretted the result, but held by commitments that the House of Commons will vote on Wednesday on whether it is willing to see the U.K. leave the EU without a deal on March 29, and if that is rejected, to have a vote on whether to delay Brexit on Thursday.

With her party deeply divided, the no deal vote will be a free vote for Conservative MPs, May said. But, she warned MPs that if they blocked no deal and voted for an extension, the EU would want to know what the extension was for before granting it — a decision likely to be made at next week’s European Council summit.

“This house will have to answer that question,” May said. “Does it wish to revoke Article 50? Does it want to hold a second referendum? Or does it want to leave with a deal but not this deal? These are unenviable choices, but thanks to the decision the house has made this evening they must now be faced.”

The prime minister said she had “personally struggled” with whether to back no deal in Wednesday’s vote or not.

“I am passionate about delivering the result of the referendum. But I equally passionately believe that the best way to do that is to leave in an orderly way with a deal and I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action,” she said, in an apparent indication that she will vote against leaving with no deal.

She said the government would publish new information on “essential policies” that would come into force in the event of no deal, including its long-awaited tariff rates and plans for the Northern Ireland border in such a scenario.

In his response to May’s statement, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The prime minister is threatening us all with the danger of no deal, knowing full well the damage it will do to the British economy.”

“The prime minister has run down the clock and the clock has been run out on her. It’s time that we have a general election and the people can choose who their government should be,” he added.

In a late night agreement with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday, May achieved a series of “legally-binding” additions to the deal that was originally negotiated in November last year. These were aimed at reassuring Brexiteers on her backbenches that the U.K. would not be stuck in the controversial Northern Ireland backstop in perpetuity.

But her Attorney General Geoffrey Cox — a member of the negotiating team and the government’s chief law officer — delivered a legal opinion on the deal which proved fatal to May’s chances of getting it through the Commons. He confirmed that the U.K. did not have a unilateral right to exit the backstop, which led the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers and the Democratic Unionist Party to conclude they would not support the deal.

DUP and Brexiteers reject May’s ‘improved’ Brexit deal

‘In the light of our own legal analysis and others we do not recommend accepting the government’s motion today,’ says Brexiteer Bill Cash.

LONDON — Theresa May said she has secured an “improved Brexit deal” that “deserves the support of every” MP, even as it became clear that key groups in the House of Commons had abandoned her.

Opening a debate that will end this evening with a second vote on her Brexit deal, May said she has secured “legally binding changes” to the Northern Ireland backstop since MPs rejected her deal by 230 votes at the first time of asking in January.

But the chances of the deal passing Tuesday evening’s vote in the House of Commons have already plummeted after Brexiteer MPs and the Democratic Unionist Party both said they would not back it.

A panel of Brexiteer lawyers, whose advice was seen as crucial to bringing the European Research Group of Conservative backbenchers onboard, recommended MPs not support the deal. Shortly after, a DUP spokesman confirmed the party would also refuse to back it.

The DUP spokesman said it is “clear that the risks remain that the U.K. would be unable to lawfully exit the backstop were it to be activated.”

“The European Union has been intransigent. It is possible to reach a sensible deal which works for the United Kingdom and the European Union but it will require all sides to be reasonable and in dealmaking mode,” the spokesman added.

Veteran Brexiteer Bill Cash, a member of the panel of Brexiteer lawyers, said: “In the light of our own legal analysis and others we do not recommend accepting the government’s motion today.”

Their analysis rejected the deal, saying it delivers no changes to the Withdrawal Agreement or Political Declaration, nor a unilateral mechanism by which the U.K. could leave the backstop.

The twin verdicts, which will almost certainly prove fatal for May’s deal, came after Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said that despite new assurances secured in last-minute talks in Strasbourg Monday night, “the legal risk remains unchanged” that the U.K. would be unable to leave the backstop unless it could prove the EU had acted in bad faith in its future negotiations.

If the deal is defeated, MPs will vote Wednesday on whether they are prepared to leave the EU with no deal on the current legal date, March 29. If that proposition is rejected, MPs will vote, most likely Thursday, on whether they want to extend the Article 50 negotiating period, delaying Brexit.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday that any extension could not go beyond May 23, unless the U.K. is prepared to take part in the European election.


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Brexit legal advice: Permanent backstop risk ‘remains unchanged’

Labour’s Keir Starmer said ‘the government’s strategy is now in tatters.’

LONDON — The “legal risk” that the U.K. would have no way of unilaterally leaving the backstop “remains unchanged” unless there was clear evidence that the EU had acted in bad faith in future negotiations, U.K. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said in new legal advice on the Brexit deal.

His conclusion significantly decreases the chance that the deal will be passed in a crunch vote in the House of Commons this evening. Brexiteer Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party had been looking for a clear legal avenue for the U.K. to leave the backstop unilaterally should it ever want to.

However, Cox’s legal advice, published on Tuesday morning, states that while new legal assurances won by the government in talks with the EU “reduce the risk” that the U.K. could be kept in the backstop indefinitely, their provisions would only apply in the event of “bad faith or want of best endeavors of the EU.”

“However, the legal risk remains unchanged that if through no such demonstrable failure of either party, but simply because of intractable differences, that situation does arise, the United Kingdom would have, at least while the fundamental circumstances remained the same, no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement,” Cox concluded.

Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer issued a statement saying: “The attorney general has confirmed that there have been no significant changes to the Withdrawal Agreement despite the legal documents that were agreed last night. The government’s strategy is now in tatters.”