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European Union leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans”

With a United Kingdom parliamentary vote on the deal delayed until next month, May wants Europe to sweeten the offer with "reassurances" that measures to prevent the return of a hard border with Ireland would not last indefinitely.

"There is work still to do and we will be holding talks in coming days about how to obtain the further assurances that the UK Parliament needs in order to be able to approve the deal".

The issue is still a contentious subject for many European leaders.

May had come to Brussels wounded by a confidence vote on Wednesday night, which she won but in which more than one-third of her Conservative party MPs voted to oust her as the party's leader.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said there could be clarifications but no renegotiation.

While May was trying to woo European Union leaders to give her something tangible she could take back to the House of Commons, after her survival of the confidence vote over her Brexit leadership from the Conservatives this week, she was met by a stonewall response.

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May has been on the back foot pretty much the minute she stepped into office, pulled in all different direction by Remainers who wanted the softest type of Brexit possible (if one at all), Leavers agitating for a no-nonsense (and very little compromise) break with Brussels, and the average Brit growing increasingly anxious about the U.K.'s future beyond March 2019, when the country is supposed to leave the European Union.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who met Mrs May shortly before the ballot, insisted that "tinkering around the edges" of the agreement would not be enough to win her party's support for the deal.

She said: 'I had a robust discussion with Jean-Claude Juncker.

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But this is not the legally binding promise sought by Brexiteers and the Northern Irish party that props up May's government - without which they have warned they will not support the deal.

The EU says it will not renegotiate the backstop, but may agree to give greater assurances on its temporary nature.

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Meanwhile in Brussels, consistently say they do not intend to start negotiations on the already agreed deal.

Mrs May said she would seek legal and political assurances from European Union leaders on the backstop arrangement over the border.

However, if she is somehow able to improve her Brexit position she could help retain Tory leadership until the 2022 General Election. But her reserved nature often makes for stilted relations with world leaders and voters, while her style of repeating phrases and avoiding direct questions earned her the media nickname "Maybot".

Cabinet ally Michael Gove has said today he still thinks her deal - thought to be down for a Commons vote on January 14 - will pass. "But the problem is that both in relation to Brexit and the wider sustainability of the Government, the given likelihood of any changes to the deal, given the likely scale of opposition, it looks very hard to see how this Prime Minister can lead us forward". "Indeed it is the only deal capable of getting through my Parliament", she said.

A key issue was the Northern Ireland backstop, but while leaders promised to do their best to ensure it is never needed, they told Mrs May they can not re-open the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

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