May hopes for EU assurance before Brexit meaningful vote

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Brussels seeks to help UK prime minister in run-up to next week’s vote in Commons

Theresa May is likely to be offered an “exchange of letters” confirming the EU’s intention to conclude trade talks with the UK by 2021, as Brussels seeks to help the prime minister in the run-up to next week’s Commons vote on her deal.

The correspondence under discussion would flesh out language already included in the withdrawal agreement but it is hoped its clarity could persuade some MPs of the EU’s intention to avoid triggering the Irish backstop.

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