The Prime Minister was under intense pressure from a group of Brexiteers led by Owen Paterson and Iain Duncan Smith but quelled their unrest after a meeting at Number 10, which the latter described as “constructive”. The group were seeking assurances over the backstop which they saw as the European Union tying Britain to the block indefinitely. But Mrs May has reached an agreement with the EU which has satisfied the hardline Brexiteers.
The Prime Minister persuading Brussels to change tact using a plan for groundbreaking technology to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The idea was previously put forward by David Davis but was never pushed through.
Mrs May now believes following the high-tech plan, which she hopes will be complete by the time any backstop would be needed, will allow her to get significant backing from Tory rebels.
However, the strategy, known as “alternative arrangements” has not been annouced for fear of raising tensions in Ireland over the Withdrawal Agreement, which Brussels will vote on on Sunday.
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A senior No10 source told The Sun: “The ‘alternative arrangements’ clause is a big win for us as its another way out of ever having to use the Irish backstop, and it could be a real breakthrough.
“A lot of effort is now going into working up the required technology since it doesn’t exist yet, but if we can get there it could be the magic bullet.”
Theresa May is due to head to Brussels tomorrow to kickstart talks with the EU on a future trade deal.
However, her withdrawal plan still needs approval by Brussels and Parliament.
And she faces more pressure today with Nicola Sturgeon heading to London for urgent talks over Brexit.
The Scottish National Party leader is heading over from Scotland to demand continued customs union membership.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mrs Sturgeon said: “Brexit must not be a false choice between the deal the Prime Minister has presented and the no-deal outcome which even members of her own Cabinet now say would be disastrous.
“It mustn’t be an option between frying pan or fire – but it is now incumbent on all of us who oppose that false choice to propose a workable alternative.”
“Continued, permanent single market and customs union membership for the whole of the UK is such an alternative.”
The SNP chief is also due to meet Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Meanwhile, Tory rebels are yet to submit 48 letters to force a no confidence motion against the Prime Minister, with just 23 MPs confirming they have acted.
The influential Tory European Research Group will today hold a press conference calling on more condemnation at Mrs May’s Brexit deal.