Brexit live: May seeks support ahead of crunch vote

Prime Minister Theresa May has called on MPs to back her Brexit deal, saying she has secured “legally binding” changes which ensure the Irish backstop cannot be permanent.

Here’s the latest from Westminster ahead of this evening’s key vote:

8.45am

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described the outcome of last night’s meeting between the Prime Minister and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as “positive”.

8.30am

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “These changes were hard fought for. They preserve the UK’s right to act unilaterally in our sovereign national interest. PM has listened to parliament’s concerns so time to back to deal and avoid risk of customs union or no Brexit.”

8.20am

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon responded to Mr Starmer’s tweets, saying “he’s right”, and called on MPs to vote against the deal.

8.15am

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Attorney General Geoffrey Cox should make a Commons statement setting out his legal advice around the latest amendments.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think, on the basis of the documents – and he will have analysed them last time in great detail, he will analyse them again – if he concludes that there isn’t significant change I really don’t see that there is a basis for him to change his advice.”

He added: “He has said ‘I’m very happy to answer questions’, this is all happening at the eleventh hour, so we do need him in the House of Commons making a statement and then MPs across the House can ask him – whichever way he goes on his advice – why he has done it.”

Having studied the documents, I would be surprised if they are sufficient to enable the Attorney General to change the central plank of his December legal advice. 2/

— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) March 12, 2019