Theresa May claims Brexit breakthrough ahead of crunch vote

An anti Brexit protester wears an EU flag outside Parliament in London

As a result, GBP has dropped and risk appetite more generally has tumbled.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing continued opposition to her European Union divorce deal despite "legally binding" changes that she hopes will win parliamentary support for the agreement.

The legal arguments around the new changes will be the focal point ahead of the vote scheduled for around 1900 GMT, with UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox set to update his advice on the deal and whether it will stand up to legal scrutiny and be enough to convince sceptical MPs to vote in favour of May's deal.

The so-called backstop that is part of the UK's withdrawal agreement from the European Union is an insurance policy created to ensure there is no hard border - no customs checks or other border structures - after Britain breaks away.

The unpopular Luxemburger politician joked that "I didn't sleep much last night because of Mrs May" in a morning event at the European Parliament. If you missed it, here's a recording.

"Tomorrow, the House of Commons will debate the improved deal that these legal changes have created".

But the vote is "likely" to impact the exchange rate, currency experts have warned, and it's not known whether the hit will be positive or negative.

After MPs earlier voted in favour of an amendment tabled by Conservative MP Dame Caroline Spelman rejecting no deal, the Government forced a final vote to try to get it back on the table, but MPs voted 321 to 278 to finally reject it on Wednesday night.

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'[T] he legal risk remains unchanged that if through no such demonstrable failure of either party, but simply because of intractable differences, that situation does arise, the United Kingdom would have... no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol's arrangements, save by agreement'.

An picture taken in London on March 12, 2019 as an arranged illustration shows printed copies of the legal opinion on the joint instrument and unilateral declaration concerning the withdrawl agreement published by Britain's Attorney General Geoffrey Cox on Mach 12, 2019.

"Let's be crystal clear about the choice: it is this deal or Brexit might not happen at all", he said. At a news conference, they announced changes created to overcome lawmakers' concerns about provisions created to ensure the border between European Union member Ireland and Britain's Northern Ireland remains open after Brexit.

In January the British Parliament rejected May's deal by 230 votes, the biggest defeat for a government in modern British history. And he said that any extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiation process could not go beyond May 23 unless the United Kingdom took part in European Parliament elections beginning that day.

GBP/AUD Exchange Rate Drops as Irish Backstop Issue Weakens May's Deal Ahead of Vote The Pound Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate plummeted to -1.6% today and is now trading around AU$1.824 on the inter-bank market.

The British parliament will vote later Tuesday on whether to back the withdrawal agreement, after May returned from meetings in Strasbourg brandishing what she said were new guarantees from Europe.

But Tuesday's vote also meant that an array of possibilities open up including a second referendum or general elections - keeping general market volatility levels on the pound high.

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