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Theresa May’s Brexit strategy left brutally exposed by Brussels failure

Labour declares deal ‘dead in the water’, as hopes of further talks on backstop disappear

Theresa May has come home from Brussels empty-handed and without hope of further negotiations over the Irish backstop, with the failure to achieve any kind of breakthrough leaving her brutally exposed.

Plans to work over Christmas on a legal guarantee over the temporary nature of the backstop had run into a brick wall, EU officials said, despite May’s claim that she would be holding further talks “in the coming days”.

Brussels sources claimed May was just keeping up a pretence that the legal guarantee she had promised rebellious Tory MPs during this week’s leadership challenge was still on the cards.

Without clear evidence that she has made progress, May faces mounting jeopardy in Westminster, with Labour seriously considering tabling a vote of no confidence before Christmas, if it believes the prime minister’s DUP partners might support it.

Jeremy Corbyn accused May on Friday of “dangerously running down the clock”.

“The last 24 hours have confirmed that Theresa May’s Brexit deal is dead in the water. The prime minister has utterly failed in her attempts to deliver any meaningful changes to her botched deal,” he said.

One shadow cabinet member said the moment at which Labour would table a no-confidence vote was getting “much, much closer”, but said it would depend on the stance of the DUP. “We are watching like hawks,” he added.

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DylanThomas

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