Theresa May says she is seeking 'changes' to Brexit backstop

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Speaking to business leaders on Tuesday during a two-day trip to the region, May said she understood local concerns about the current deadlock in Westminster, where Conservative MPs continued to discuss "alternative arrangements" to the backstop - the backup mechanism created to avoid a hard border set out in the withdrawal agreement May struck with the European Union (EU).

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Theresa May flies to Northern Ireland on Tuesday to reassure political leaders and business chiefs that Britain remains committed to avoiding a hard border with the Republic after Brexit.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, who leads the anti-EU European Reform Group of Conservative MPs, said that they would not back May's deal, even if she secured a unilateral exit clause, or a time-limit, to the controversial Brexit backstop.

Speaking ahead of Theresa May travelling to Brussels at the end of this week in the hope of renegotiating the Irish backstop, the transport secretary mocked "Project Fear hysteria" and said the ball was now on Brussels' side of the court over Brexit.

The EU has repeatedly said it will not amend the backstop, but Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz suggested the bloc could agree to some form of legal assurances on how it might be used. Critics fear the clause could keep Britain tied to European Union rules even after Brexit.

A Cold War-era emergency plan to relocate the royal family has been revived in case riots break out in London in the event of a no-deal Brexit next month, two British newspapers reported Sunday. The free flow of people and goods across the near-invisible border today underpins both the local economy and Northern Ireland's peace process.

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As the risk of Britain leaving the European Union without an amicable withdrawal agreement continues to hang over ongoing negotiations, emergency proposals to rescue the royal family during the Cold War era have been "repurposed" in recent weeks to ensure their protection.

"What parliament said is that they believe there should be changes to the backstop". Vehicle manufacturers Nissan announced on Sunday that they have cancelled plans to build their X-Trail model in the UK.

"I'm determined to deliver Brexit, and determined to deliver on time - on March 29, 2019", she wrote.

Last week, MPs voted for an amendment tabled by Conservative grandee Sir Graham Brady - and backed by the PM - which "requires the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border". It will continue producing three other models at the Sunderland plant, which employs 7,000 people. Louth yesterday to learn about the effect of Brexit on border communities, said a change to the agreement is "not realistic".

The letter also said Britain would "seek to maintain the closest possible economic relationship between the United Kingdom and our European partners" and would try to ensure that carmakers' "ability to export to and from the EU is not adversely affected" by Brexit.

"While we have taken this decision for business reasons", Nissan Europe Chairman Gianluca de Ficchy said in a statement.

There would also have to be no checks between Northern Ireland and the Irish Sea and Britain must be able to leave the alternative arrangement of its own accord, the MP said.