THERESA May is set to put just part of her Brexit deal to the Commons today, in a last ditch attempt to get it past MPs.

It was confirmed late yesterday afternoon that Parliament would vote on the Withdrawal Agreement.

The document sets out the terms of the divorce.

But when will the vote be held and will it be another defeat for May's Government?


THE vote will be held on Friday March 29, 2019 – the day the UK was originally scheduled to leave the EU. Parliament has been sitting since 9.30am and a vote is expected at 2.30pm, with the result around 2.45pm.


DIFFERING to the two previous meaningful votes, MPs will not have their say on the Political Declaration, which sets out a rough sketch for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. 

The PM's decision to split the two parts of the package means it is not a third attempt to pass a "meaningful vote" on the Government's Brexit deal and complies with rules laid down by Commons Speaker John Bercow.


VERY slim. The Prime Minister faces almost certain defeat, with the DUP, who prop up the minority Tory Government, making it clear that they cannot stomach the Withdrawal Agreement as long as it contains the backstop, the safety net, that prevents a hard border on the island of Ireland.

It’s not just the Northern Irish Unionists who look set to reject May’s deal, Labour, the SNP, the LibDems and at least 30 of her backbenchers will all likely say no too.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he has taken the "painful" decision to back the deal. Scottish Tory MP Ross Thomson has also decided to back the PM's deal, despite rejecting it twice over concerns it "put the Union at risk". These Tory U-turns boost May's chances of securing a majority in the Commons but she still faces an uphill struggle.


UNDER the terms of an agreement with Brussels, if passed by MPs on Friday the vote would qualify the UK to be granted an automatic delay to May 22 of the formal date of Brexit.

If the Government wins it could then retrospectively amend section 13 of the EU Withdrawal Act, which requires MPs to pass both a resolution combining the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration.

There have been questions over the legality of this. 

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Part of the problem already with the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration is that it means agreeing to leave the EU with no clarity about the future ie a blindfold Brexit. Take away the Political Declaration completely and that problem is compounded. Why would MPs agree to that?”

Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, has insisted that this is legal, and set out the legal case when he opened the debate today.

Earlier this month, the EU said the UK could delay Brexit until 22 May if the Withdrawal Agreement got through Parliament.

But if it doesn’t, then the UK only has until April 12 to find a solution – which would almost certainly mean a hard Brexit or a very lengthy extension.