With less than 50 days to go, Theresa May still holds out hope that significant concessions on the Irish backstop will be granted by the EU.
May will plea with her own MPs to be allowed more time to scope out some movement from the EU in a last ditch attempt to secure a deal before March 29, the date the UK leaves the EU.
‘No movement from EU’
But there is little sign that the premier’s battle to secure changes to the Irish border backstop is making progress. EU chief negotiator Mr Barnier emerged from a dinner with Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay in Brussels last night to insist the Withdrawal Agreement will not be renegotiated.
Downing Street said Mrs May’s statement, which comes a day earlier than expected, will give MPs more time to ‘digest the content’ ahead of the Valentine’s Day votes.
Mrs May is expected to say: ‘The talks are at a crucial stage. We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this House has required and deliver Brexit on time.
‘By getting the changes we need to the backstop; by protecting and enhancing workers’ rights and environmental protections; and by enhancing the role of Parliament in the next phase of negotiations I believe we can reach a deal that this House can support.’