UK Prime Minister Theresa May hopes that legal arrangements meaning Britain cannot be 'trapped' in a customs union will win over her critics when MPs have a 'meaningful vote' on the deal to leave the EU
The prime minister and I have agreed on a joint, legally binding instrument relating to the withdrawal agreement. This instrument provides meaningful clarifications and legal guarantees on the nature of the backstop.
In politics, sometimes we'll get a second chance. It is what we do with this second chance that counts because there will be no third chance. There will be no further interpretation of the interpretations and no further assurances on the reassurances.
Having an insurance policy to guarantee that there will never be a hard border in Northern Ireland is absolutely right. It honours the UK's solemn commitments in the Belfast Good Friday Agreement. But if we ever have to use that insurance policy It cannot become a permanent arrangement, and it is not the template for our future relationship.
The deal that MPs voted on in January was not strong enough in making that clear, and legally-binding changes were needed to set that right. Today, we have agreed them.
Tomorrow, the House of Commons will debate the improved deal that these legal changes have created. I will speak in more detail about them when I open that debate. MPs were clear that legal changes were needed to the backstop. Today, we have secured legal changes. Now is the time to come together, to back this improved Brexit deal, and to deliver on the instruction of the British people.