Brexit: UK hits back at EU claims it does not have clear plan to amend backstop – Politics live
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen
- UK hits back at EU claims it does not have clear plan to amend backstop
- What Geoffrey Cox told MPs about Brexit talks
- Back May’s deal or risk soft Brexit, Hammond tells Tories
- Labour antisemitism: equalities watchdog opens investigation
Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, has just confirmed that MPs will vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday next week.
She said that, if the government loses the vote, she will make a further business statement on Tuesday about how the government will allow a vote on a no-deal Brexit, followed by a vote on extending article 50 if no deal gets rejected.
Here are the main points from what Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, told MPs about the Brexit talks. He started by saying that he could not comment on the detail of the negotiations, but he then ended up being more forthcoming than one might have expected.
We are discussing detailed, coherent, careful proposals. We are discussing text with the European Union. I am surprised to hear the comments that have emerged over the last 48 hours that the proposals are not clear. They are as clear as day. And we are continuing to discuss them.
We are still waiting for a proposal from London. It’s really a British initiative which has to come …
At this stage we know what the UK does not want, and that’s a first phase, but it’s not necessarily enough … We have not heard proposals, ideas or initiatives coming from the British government to overcome the current difficulties.
These discussions … are going to be resuming very shortly. They are going to be continuing almost certainly through the weekend and we will endeavour to give the House as early notice as we can if and when we have something to report.
It is government policy to achieve the necessary change in the backstop which will cause me to … change my advice. That is government policy.
It has come to be called “Cox’s codpiece”. What I am concerned to ensure that is what is inside the codpiece is in full working order.