UK Prime Minister Theresa May is calling off a crucial vote in Parliament on whether to approve her Brexit deal, according to a person familiar with the situation. She was due to address parliament Monday and what happens next could open up a dizzying array of consequences that could increase volatility in global financial markets, especially for the British pound.
She vowed "no doubt this deal is the right one" but would seek "further assurances" over a controversial backstop clause relating to Northern Ireland.
Both sides also strongly object to a "backstop" provision in the Brexit agreement that would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU in order to guarantee an open border between EU member Ireland and the U.K.'s Northern Ireland. This is essential to prevent a renewal of violence in the region.
In a statement in the British House of Commons, the prime minister said: "We will therefore defer the vote scheduled tomorrow", after acknowledging that "the deal would be rejected by a significant margin".
Local media reports, citing several anonymous government sources, said she will announce the Brexit vote has been pulled during her speech.
The ruling from Europe's highest court in Luxembourg appears to have given Remainer MPs a new way out of Brexit, despite Mrs May's insistence that the United Kingdom would leave the European Union on March 29 under a legal process known as Article 50.
Michael Gove, the most prominent Brexit campaigner in the British government, said the court's ruling "doesn't alter either the referendum vote or the clear intention of the government to leave on March 29".
"The risk for those who say simply go back and ask again, the risk is that isn't necessarily a one-way street, the French, the Spanish and others will turn round, if we seek to reopen the negotiation, and ask for more", he added.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May admitted the vote on Brexit in Parliament scheduled for Tuesday would have seen the government defeated soundly.
"If we can't go forwards with her deal. then I'm afraid the only way to change the policy is to change the prime minister and I really think it' her duty to go", Brexit-supporting Conservative lawmaker Steve Baker said.
May's compromise Brexit deal has dismayed both supporters of a more decisive break with the European Union and those who want ties to remain as close as possible.
The pound took the biggest hit in June 2016, when the country voted to leave the EU.
PM said there'd definitely be a vote tomorrow and there won't be.
He said he would not object to the issuing of statements clarifying the meaning of the agreement, but cautioned that no clarification could go against what had already been agreed.
Mrs May said she believed there was "a majority to be won" in the Commons on her deal, if she is able to "secure additional reassurance on the backstop". But the pressure on May mounted over the weekend after Conservative lawmaker Will Quince quit his government role on Saturday in opposition to her deal, and the Sunday Times said further resignations were expected.
Earlier, the European Court of Justice gave hope to a small but growing number of MPs seeking a second referendum on Brexit, ruling that Britain was free to halt withdrawal from the bloc unilaterally.
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However, European Council president Donald Tusk insisted there was no question of reopening negotiations on the Brexit deal. Approached by Sky News while getting into his auto , he said: "I don't regret calling a referendum".
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