Dutch PM says initial Brexit deal has to become legal text soon

Dutch PM says initial Brexit deal has to become legal text soon

British Prime Minister Theresa May has lost a crucial Brexit vote in the UK Parliament after the rebels in her party backed an amendment giving them a legal guarantee of a say on the final divorce deal struck with the European Union.

In a tweet on the second day of an EU summit, EU chief Donald Tusk said EU leaders "agree to move on to the second phase" in Brexit talks and congratulated British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Brussels will not renegotiate, meaning the vote will still be a "take it or leave it" choice.

This vote was the government's first defeat in Parliament on its exit legislation.

The EU is willing to start talks next month on a roughly two-year transition period to ease Britain out after March 2019, but has asked for more detail from London on what it wants before it will open trade negotiations from March of next year.

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The MP for Birmingham Edgbaston was debating with the fellow MP on BBC Daily Politics about the amendment to the Brexit withdrawal bill voted for by a majority of four MPs on Wednesday. However, it could reinforce perceptions in the bloc that May lacks authority.

The progress comes after the sides reached a deal on the preliminary divorce issues, such as the status of Britain's physical border with European Union member Ireland. "I think we need an Article 50 text as soon as possible", Rutte said on arrival to a meeting of European heads of government in Brussels.

"What is necessary is that we put the handshake of last Friday into a legally binding text".

Earlier Wednesday, the European Union's chief exit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said there will be "no turning back" for Britain on commitments made during an initial divorce deal between the two, after his United Kingdom counterpart insisted it was merely a "statement of intent".

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