Theresa May confirms that withdrawal vote won’t go ahead
After much speculation today, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that the vote on Britain’s withdrawal agreement from the EU, originally scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday, December 11) will now not go ahead.
According to May, she made the decision to postpone the vote in order to secure wider support in parliament, which was generally seen as insufficient for the agreement to pass.
The withdrawal document had thrown up several issues for a number of groups, including hardline Brexiteers, who opposed the trading and customs relationship that the UK and EU had agreed to.
Furthermore, the Democratic Unionist Party, May’s coalition partners in government, said they would vote the agreement down.
Speculation had been mounting throughout today (Monday, December 10) that May would chose to cancel – or at least postpone – the vote, with the chances of her winning the vote never seen as likely.
However, May argued that the deal she has negotiated is still the “best deal”, and indicated that she does not intend to tear up the deal entirely.
The Northern Irish backstop, which is designed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, also came up for contentious discussion.
Earlier today, The European Court of Justice ruled that the UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50, and postpone its exit from the European Union – opening the possibility of a second Brexit referendum.