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Brexit: Theresa May in final push to win support for deal

Brexit: Theresa May in final push to win support for deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called off a crucial vote in parliament on whether to approve her Brexit divorce deal, the BBC says.

On Monday the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had ruled that the United Kingdom can decide to cancel Brexit and remain members of the European Union (EU).

The decision to delay the vote is yet to be officially announced but was widely reported in the British media after May held a conference call with senior ministers on Monday morning.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has delayed a vote on a Brexit deal negotiated by her government, saying it was clear it would be defeated by a "significant margin".

Earlier on Monday, the EU's top court ruled that Britain could unilaterally reverse its decision to leave, easing concerns about Britain crashing out of the bloc in March without a deal. The Prime Minister must either govern or quit'.

Alyn Smith, a Scottish nationalist member of the European Parliament and one of those Brexit opponents who raised the case seeking clarification of Article 50 of the EU treaty to the European Union's supreme court in Luxembourg said: "Today's ruling sends a clear message to UK MPs ahead of tomorrow's vote that there is a way out of this mess". May is battling to win support for a Brexit deal which will define both the UK's departure from the bloc and her future as leader.

He said it was "certainly not the intention of the government" to delay Brexit.

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In a statement to the House, the Prime Minister said she had listened to the "widespread and deep concern" of MPs and she would attempt to bring further British oversight to the Irish backstop before presenting an amended deal to parliament.

Mrs May said she believed there was "a majority to be won" in the Commons on her deal, if she is able to "secure additional reassurance on the backstop". But they stressed that such tinkering can not alter the basis of the withdrawal agreement itself.

May is due to meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, Downing Street said.

The Tory rebels and the DUP do not like the Northern Ireland "backstop", a legally-binding proposal for a customs arrangement with the European Union, which would come into force if the two sides' can not agree a future relationship which avoids the return of a visible Northern Ireland border. "The UK doesn't want this deal, but nor does it want a no-deal - and it's in the interests of everyone, Brussels included, for there to be a deal".

A spokeswoman for European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker poured cold water on hopes of a renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement, reached after more than 18 months of talks.

Her splintered government appears to be facing a heavy defeat in parliament on Tuesday on the draft withdrawal agreement she signed with Brussels last month. It was trading at $1.50 on the day of the 2016 Brexit referendum. This raises the prospect that the government could still face, and lose a vote on the deal even it it doesn't want to.

If so, she said that they needed to ask themselves whether they were willing to make compromises. But critics say it could leave Britain tied to the European Union indefinitely, unable to strike new trade deals around the world.