At the very last moment, despite assurances to the contrary, Prime Minister May announced in Parliament that because she lacked the necessary votes she was postponing the vote on her painfully negotiated Brexit deal . She also announced she was embarking on a series of visits to EU leaders to see if she could win further concessions on the nature of the Irish backstop to meet the criticisms of many leavers in Parliament that it was not legally clear from the deal that the backstop could ultimately not prevent the UK from actually leaving the EU and being subject to its trade rules or on the other hand result in Northern Ireland de. facto being separated from the UK. This has been a long run problem in the negotiations and its not clear how it can be resolved. without further compromises by the EU . These are compromises that the EU negotiators and leadership have firmly rejected and today have reiterated as simply not possible. Instead they have stated that the deal on offer is‘‘ the best deal and the only deal possible.‘‘
So it looks like May is caught in a very awkward position trapped in an agreement she cannot get passed in the current UK Parliament and unlikely to win an election if one were to be called over Brexit. The alternative of crashing out of the EU without a deal is a worst case option that might now occur but it is very unwelcome to both business leaders and most of the public.