Speed Reads


Key voting bloc turns on British PM Theresa May, solidifying near-certain failure for her Brexit plan

Despite winning a last-minute, legally binding concession from the European Union on Monday evening, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is still likely to lose a parliamentary vote on her Brexit plan on Tuesday.

May struck the agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at a meeting in France on Monday night, guaranteeing that the Irish border backstop, which would keep the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland open, would be a temporary measure, meaning that the U.K. will not be tied to EU customs regulations "indefinitely." But the deal was not enough to sway some of the more Euroskeptic parties in Britain's parliament.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a conservative, pro-Brexit party from Northern Ireland that props up May's government, announced on Tuesday that all 10 of its members would vote against the deal, striking a crucial blow for May. The DUP released a statement saying that "sufficient progress has not been achieved" in negotiations with the EU. May, for her part, argued on Tuesday that supporting her withdrawal agreement is the only way to ensure avoiding a "no-deal" Brexit.

The Financial Times reported that without the DUP "there would seem to be no way that" most other conservative holdouts would swing toward May, though a few conservative "rebels" have, indeed, provided some hope for the prime minister. But those votes are not expected to be nearly enough to secure a victory. The Guardian echoed that sentiment, reporting that unless there is "an avalanche" of vote-switching, May will almost assuredly lose. Tim O'Donnell