Theresa May is set for a showdown with the EU after MPs instructed her to reopen negotiations on the Brexit deal. Parliament voted by 317 to 301 to send Mrs May back to Brussels and renegotiate the Northern Ireland backstop, but EU leaders immediately told her she was wasting her time. Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, bluntly told Mrs May: “The Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation.” Mrs May was given a similar message in a phone call with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, while the French President Emmanuel Macron said the current agreement was “the best deal possible and not renegotiable”. MPs also voted to block a no deal Brexit, weakening Mrs May’s hand in the negotiations. More MPs – 318 – voted to block no deal than to support Mrs May’s Brexit plan B, but Mrs May told them that “opposing no deal is not enough to stop it” and they must back an alternative. On a night that restored some of the Prime Minister’s battered authority, Tory and DUP MPs rallied to her call to “give me the mandate I need” to demand the EU Withdrawal Agreement is reopened so that major changes… Read full this story
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