United Kingdom says 'legally binding changes' to Brexit deal agreed with EU

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also spoke to EU Commission president Jean Claude Juncker about the efforts in Strasbourg to find an agreement.

He and his colleagues insist there is a "silent majority" for a softer form of Brexit, with up to 50 Conservative MPs prepared to back the idea rather than countenance no deal. Let's bring the UK's withdrawal to an orderly end.

"There will be no third chance".

The EU is unwilling to reopen the 585-page Brexit agreement, though it has offered what it says are legally binding promises that the backstop will not be permanent.

"Today we have secured legal changes", Ms May told reporters after the talks with Mr Juncker and the European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The prime minister has warned that a defeat risks scuttling her blueprint for Brexit and replacing it with a scaled-down plan, potentially keeping the United Kingdom inside the EU's single market and customs union.

"We remain optimistic that a hard Brexit will be avoided, and that in our view should put a floor on GBP", said Rodrigo Catril, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd.in Sydney.

"The PM and the negotiating teams are focused on making progress so we can secure Parliament's support for the deal", a Downing Street spokesperson said on Monday.

"We really want to be over with it now".

At the weekend, May tried to persuade her rebellious lawmakers to back her deal when it returns to the Commons on Tuesday evening, entertaining them at her grand country house retreat of Chequers, but there were no signs that she has won them round.

Antwerp mayor

The late trip caused concern among MPs in London, who complained they may not have enough time to scrutinise any deal May agrees before being asked to vote on Tuesday.

The prime minister has since been trying to negotiate changes to the agreement, in particular regarding the highly unpopular backstop provision, which is created to ensure a frictionless Irish border and would, as many fear, tie the United Kingdom to the EU customs union.

May has already survived a leadership challenge from within the Conservative Party, which means there can not be another one before December.

Kinnock and his allies believe a short extension, of three months, would be sufficient to allow a common market-style agreement to be negotiated. The legal 585-page withdrawal agreement itself though was left intact.

"Threatening no deal helps with leverage with the European Union, but it hasn't really achieved much". But lawmakers from all parties, backed by warnings from businesses, have mobilized to stop a no deal Brexit to save the United Kingdom from higher costs of trade on the morning after March 29.

Little has changed to the substance of the deal - secured with the European Union back in November - since the January defeat.

Any postponement would have to be approved by the leaders of the other 27 nations, who are next meeting at a Brussels summit on March 21-22 - a week before Brexit.

However, "Parliament could choose to hold another vote of no confidence in her government, which they did after the last meaningful vote", said Maddy Thimont Jack, a researcher at the Institute for Government in London.

"This is all words and twisted meanings".

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