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UK: ‘We need to hold our nerve’ – May seeks Brexit deal changes before vote

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May urged the members of the House of Commons to “hold their nerve” during a speech in London on Tuesday, as she claimed that Brexit negotiations were at “a crucial stage.”

May outlined her proposals for possible changes to the Northern Irish backstop mechanism, saying that it could be replaced with “alternative arrangements,” or that the existing backstop proposal could be modified with the addition of a “legally binding time limit” or “a legally binding unilateral exit clause.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked the prime minister’s proposals, saying that she has “just one real tactic: to run down the clock hoping members of this House are blackmailed into supporting a deeply flawed deal.”

“She is playing for time and playing with people’s jobs, our economic security and the future of our industries,” he added.

The European Council, Parliament and Commission have all previously said that the backstop was a part of the withdrawal agreement, that the negotiations are over and that they will not be reopened. This sentiment has been repeated by senior EU figures.

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