What the papers say as MPs prepare for Brexit vote

Several newspapers urged MPs to back the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal on Tuesday after her trip to Brussels for last-minute negotiations.

The Daily Mail said that, “to her enormous credit”, Theresa May appears to have secured “the guarantees she needed on the Northern Ireland backstop”.

Urging MPs to back the deal, the paper said: “Mrs May has fulfilled her side of the Brexit bargain – ensuring the backstop will not leave us in a customs union forever, or see Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK.”

The Daily Express sent a similar message, writing that “there finally seems to be some kind of a breakthrough”.

“We have long said that it is vital the Conservative Party delivers on its commitment to take Britain out of the EU, and honours the historic referendum result,” it said.

“Let’s hope Parliament gets this revised deal over the line.”

The Sun suggested Mrs May’s deal is the only way of “keeping Corbyn’s Marxists out of power” and the Tories “may well pay a terrible price – and the country with it” if the party does not back the package.

Urging the support of Conservative backbenchers, it said: “If today they still cannot swallow their pride, hold their noses and back this deal, we fear the consequences.”

The Daily Mirror instead described the Prime Minister’s trip to Brussels on Monday night as a desperate and “theatrical” bid to convince her MPs to back her “bad deal”.

The paper said: “MPs should hold their nerve, refuse to be panicked, reject her poor offering and vote for extra time to find an answer that is best for Britain.”

The Times urged MPs to consider the deal against a wider backdrop of “global instability” – and said it is “farcical” that they will vote on a package “they will have had just hours to assess”.

“MPs will vote at a time of intense geopolitical volatility, when the unity of the western alliance that has underpinned Britain’s security in the post-war era has never looked less certain,” the paper wrote.

It added: “Against this backdrop, it is fanciful to imagine that a no-deal Brexit would be anything other than a profound geopolitical shock.”

The Telegraph said there was “a backdrop of exasperation” to the Prime Minister’s trip to Brussels and that a deal will only succeed if there is “no doubt” that the backstop is temporary.

It wrote: “The best-case scenario for the Government is that Geoffrey Cox QC, the Attorney General, is in a position to reverse the opinion he gave in January that the backstop could, in theory, be permanent.”

A rejected deal and postponement of the March 29 Brexit date will leave Britain “in uncharted waters”, the paper added.

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