Anti-Brexit Britons hit Irish pub in Brussels to watch vote

The Ulster Farmers' Union said the government's import tariff plans for a no-deal Brexit would devastate Northern Ireland's farming industry.

"This is the moment".

Other EU nations welcomed the overnight agreement, and urged British politicians to seize the chance to back the deal and ensure an orderly departure. The impasse has raised fears of a chaotic "no-deal" Brexit that could mean major disruption for businesses and people in Britain and the 27 remaining European Union countries.

In January the British Parliament rejected May's deal by 230 votes, the biggest defeat for a government in modern British history.

May announced three documents - a joint instrument, a joint statement and a unilateral declaration - which she said were aimed at addressing the Irish backstop, the most contentious part of the divorce deal she agreed with the European Union in November.

MPs voted by 391 to 242 against May's deal last night, despite the prime minister's assurance new agreements reached with Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasbourg would ensure the United Kingdom can not be trapped in the controversial backstop arrangement indefinitely.

The DUP, which props up may's minority government, said "sufficient progress has not been achieved" on the key issue of the Irish border.

Mr Lidington told MPs in a late night sitting in the Commons that the PM had secured legally binding changes that "strengthened and improved" the withdrawal agreement.

"We held talks over the weekend and the negotiations now are between the government in London and the parliament in London", he said in Brussels ahead of Brexit discussions with envoys from the other 27 member states. "It's hard to believe that 150 members of British parliament will come to their senses within that amount of time", said Philippe Lamberts, co-head of the Greens in the European Parliament and also a member of its Brexit Steering Group.

Tariffs on finished cars and trucks will be set at 10.6%, down from the EU MFN rate of 11.3%, while for finished buses the rate will remain unchanged at 12.6%.

THERESA May's desperate attempts to appease her own divided party have led to a second historic Brexit defeat in the House of Commons, according to isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

Keir Starmer, the opposition Labour Party's point person on Brexit, responded, saying the changes announced were not a breakthrough.

The House of Commons is due to vote later on whether to approve or reject the deal.

The new regime would not apply to countries with which Britain already has a free trade agreement and to around 70 developing countries that have preferential access to the British market.

Meanwhile, EU leadership has confirmed it is open to meet with United Kingdom negotiators at any time, while remaining committed to deal ratification before 29 March. To begin with, a vote on a "no deal" Brexit in Parliament on Wednesday.

The tariffs will not apply to goods from the Republic of Ireland crossing into Northern Ireland, with no new border checks and controls, raising the risk of smuggling. It is noteworthy that current deal involves a 21-month transition period before the final exit in 2020, during which trade relationship would be figured out.

Meanwhile, the wine and spirits industry warned that yesterday's vote to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal throws the industry into "yet deeper uncertainty".

Alongside these documents was a "unilateral declaration by the UK" which sets out "sovereign action" by which Britain could seek to have the backstop removed if talks break down.

Vanessa Coleman

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