May suffers blow ahead of big Brexit vote


British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal suffered a major blow ahead of a historic vote on Tuesday, when her chief attorney ruled that risks from its most contentious points remained "unchanged".
Failure to agree could spark economic chaos if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal on the scheduled departure date of March 29 after 46 years in the bloc.
May had dashed off to Strasbourg on Monday for a last-gasp bid to wrest concessions from EU leaders ahead of Tuesday's parliamentary vote on Britain's planned split from the bloc in just 17 days.
The British leader announced after the negotiations that she had secured the "legally binding changes" to the vexing issue of the Irish border that lawmakers had long-sought.
Her initial 585-page deal with Brussels on unwinding Britain's EU membership    suffered an overwhelming defeat at the hands of MPs in January and its success or failure on Tuesday depends on the view of Brexit hardliners in parliament.
All eyes turned Tuesday to UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox-a respected lawyer from May's Conservative party tasked with providing the government with independent legal advice.
Cox wrote in a three-page conclusion that the risk of Britain ending up trapped in the bloc's trade arrangements had been reduced by May's last-minute deal but still remained.