Theresa May to make last-ditch Brexit plea with the EU as MPs prepare to reject her deal

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  • Theresa May will plea with the European Union to make significant changes to the Brexit deal.
  • Her words come ahead of another vote in parliament on the Brexit deal on Tuesday.
  • Speaking in Grimsby, the prime minister will say that “the decisions that the European Union makes over the next few days will have a big impact on the outcome of the vote.”
  • The prime minister is set to suffer another bruising defeat on her deal if she doesn’t win significant changes to the Irish backstop.

LONDON – Theresa May is preparing to make a last-ditch plea to the European Union to grant concessions and make changes to her Brexit deal which will make MPs more likely to support it.

The prime minister will attempt to put pressure on the EU, by claiming that decisions made by negotiators in Brussels in the next few days will have a significant impact on the outcome of the Brexit vote in Westminster next week.

Speaking in Grimsby, east England on Friday afternoon, the prime minister is expected to say: “Just as MPs will face a big choice next week, the EU has to make a choice too. We are both participants in this process.

“We are working with them but the decisions that the European Union makes over the next few days will have a big impact on the outcome of the vote,” she will add.

May will deliver her warning to EU leaders in a region where around 70% of people voted to for Brexit in 2016.

The warning comes as her chief negotiator prepares to return to Brussels on Friday, in a fresh attempt to win changes to the Irish backstop which Conservative MPs and the Democratic Unionist Party have demanded.

But hopes of UK negotiator Olly Robbins making a breakthrough in Brussels today are slim, with multiple reports indicating that there was a sizable gulf between the demands of EU and UK officials.

The UK is demanding legally-binding changes to the backstop, an insurance mechanism designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, which is widely opposed by Tory MPs who say it could keep the UK indefinitely trapped within the EU customs union.

But the EU has repeatedly indicated that it will not make significant concessions to the backstop, leading to gridlocked talks this week.

May will put her deal to another House of Commons vote on Tuesday after it was defeated by a crushing 230-vote margin in January.

It is likely to be rejected again if negotiators fail to secure the legally-binding changes they have committed to seek.

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