Christchurch backs Theresa May's Brexit deal

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"The backstop is something nobody wants to go into in the first place, and we will be working to make sure that we don't go into it", she said.

It is the arrangement included in the withdrawal agreement to ensure there is no return to a hard border - physical checks or infrastructure - between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.

It would mean Northern Ireland staying aligned to some European Union rules, which many MPs say is unacceptable.

The UK would have no legal means of compelling the European Union to conclude any such agreement.

If Parliament votes against the deal, the risk of a chaotic and costly "no deal" after Brexit next March will rise significantly - and if it can not be quickly renegotiated in Brussels, the United Kingdom may face a snap election or a new Brexit referendum.

The member for Altrincham and Sale West added he was not alone among Conservative MPs in holding that opinion, adding: "Many of us are hoping to hear that reassurance, and are willing the Brexit Secretary and the Prime Minister well in the process".

The advice from Geoffrey Cox says that as part of the review mechanism for the backstop, the EU could submit that the Great Britain element of the customs union "should fall away".

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Clearly, to try to get some angry Brexiteers to change their minds, the PM is trying to give a sense that they might have more of a say. "Do we extend. the implementation period?"

It's not surprising that MPs would have a vote on that.

Former Northern Ireland minister Hugo Swire tabled the amendment along with Bob Neill and Richard Graham.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announces the result of a vote in which MPs approved a motion which finds ministers in contempt of Parliament and orders the immediate publication of the "final and full" legal advice on the Brexit deal.

Opening a third day of debate, Mr Hammond told the Commons a no-deal Brexit would be "too very bad to contemplate".

In an interesting aside, Stephens noted that it is unlikely that Cox himself would have actually written the advice; it would be usual for an attorney-general to seek advice from a legal expert in that field.

Media captionConfused by Brexit jargon?

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The government had refused previous requests to publish the advice, which comes just a week before MPs vote on the deal itself, saying it would set a unsafe precedent if the Attorney General could not provide the Prime Minister with honest, confidential legal advice without fear of it being made public.

About 90 Conservatives are, at the moment, expected to rebel when MPs vote on the deal next Tuesday.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour "would not countenance" a no-deal Brexit but still opposes Mrs May's deal.

Around 30 ministers in total will join the push to gain support for the withdrawal agreement.

"If it can't, then I certainly would welcome the vote being deferred until such time as we can answer that question.' Mrs May's spokesman insisted the vote would go ahead as planned and she was simply 'taking stock" as senior ministers came and went from No.10 yesterday.

"I want to see central to any agreement that we can control our own borders and that we can control our trade policies".

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