BREXIT LIVE: Boris must get EU-approved deal through UK Parliament
Pound remains stable as markets close ahead of rare Saturday Commons sitting
Boris Johnson is trying to persuade MPs to back his Brexit deal ahead of what is expected to be a knife-edge vote in the Commons on Saturday October 19.
Saturday's showdown will be the prime minister’s last chance to get Parliament to approve a deal before the Brexit deadline of 31 October.
If MPs reject his plans, legislation passed says he must ask the EU for an extension until 31 January 2020. However, Mr Johnson has insisted he is "very confident" MPs will back his deal.
Mr Johnson must get 320 votes in the 650-seat parliament to get a deal approved. Nearly all of the 287 Tory MPs are expected to back the deal.
But as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and three main opposition parties have pledged to vote against his deal, Mr Johnson faces a battle to get the agreement through Parliament. Without the DUP’s 10 votes, he will need Brexit-supporting Labour Party rebels to support his deal.
The Scottish National Party said it would probably back the amendment.
The outcome is thought to be too close to call.
According to Goldman Sachs, Mr Johnson’s deal will pass. It has raised estimates of Brexit to go through with a deal on October 31 to 65 per cent – up from 60 per cent, the Irish Times reported.
The bank cut its odds on a no-deal departure to 10 per cent from 15 per cent and kept unchanged its 25 per cent probability of no Brexit.
Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was up more than four per cent since last week as Brexit updates fuelled optimism, whilst the FTSE 100 edged 0.1 per cent lower, as Brexit-sensitive stocks such as house builder Persimmon and domestic bank RBS rose three per cent, respectively, offsetting weakness in mining stocks, Reuters reported.
The FTSE 100 closed at 7,150.57, a change of -0.44 per cent.
The pound held at five-month highs of $1.2874, slightly down from yesterday's peak of $1.2988 after the UK and the EU agreed to a Brexit deal.
The euro was trading flat at $1.1122 not far from $1.1140, its highest since August, Reuters said.
Parliament will sit from 0830 GMT. Johnson will make a statement to lawmakers, after which there will be a debate and then a vote. The debate was originally scheduled to last 90 minutes, but is no longer time-limited.