It's not clear how or if the EU will come to Theresa May's rescue

May is appealing to EU leaders for help to make her deal more palatable to MPs Credit: AP

As I said earlier, EU leaders “want to help” Theresa May, but they see her request for an addendum to the Withdrawal Agreement as in practice opening up the Withdrawal Agreement.

Which they have said they will not do.

Even so, the PM will late this afternoon formally request their cooperation in helping persuade Northern Ireland’s DUP and her Brexiter MPs that the backstop could not be forever.

She will then leave the room and they will discuss her plight over dinner.

It is not at all clear how and whether they come to her rescue.

So perhaps this is the EU Council when her painstakingly negotiated 700-page plan dies, since without legally enforceable limits on the backstop’s duration it will never be approved by MPs.

But knowing her and knowing them it is more likely they find a way to prolong the cancerous uncertainty for some weeks yet.