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The loyalist Brexiters’ amendment to keep Theresa May’s deal alive

Theresa May in the House of Commons. Credit: PA

Here is the Andrew Murrison amendment that is the loyalist Brexiters’ attempt to keep Theresa May’s deal alive.

Andrew Murrison's amendment.

It would given only conditional approval to her plan, stipulating that the deal would only come into force if the EU changes the Withdrawal Agreement to give an expiry date for the backstop of December 31, 2021.

If it was not heavily defeated, then the prime minister could use it to return to Brussels to demand a change similar to it, as the price demanded by Parliament for a deal-based Brexit.

But it is striking there is no sign of Northern Ireland’s DUP officially supporting the amendment.

But what is also striking is that ultra May loyalist Damian Green is backing it.

This suggests that if May thinks she is facing a massive calamitous defeat for her main motion, she may encourage her MPs to support this amendment, to provide her a lifeline to keep her deal alive, for a few weeks yet.

And here is the reason why Hilary Benn has withdrawn his amendment to the meaningful vote motion.

Amendment bill

It is the presentation of a bill by Nick Boles that - if he succeeds in seizing control of the business of the Commons for a day, after Theresa May loses tonight’s vote - would (among other things) change the law to make a no-deal Brexit impossible.

Which is the big thing that Benn wanted. For what it is worth, this is the parliamentary initiative seen by some in Downing Street as a coup by MPs against the PM and is seen by MPs as giving them a voice to prevent what a probable majority of them see as a national disaster.