After surviving a second no-confidence vote, Prime Minister Theresa May likes to be first strengthened. In view of the 117 votes against, which it received on Wednesday evening, is the consent of the house to the agreed with the EU exit agreement and the political Declaration on the future relationship between but more uncertain than ever.

Hendrik Kafsack

economic correspondent in Brussels.

F. A. Z. Twitter

In Brussels, a sense of helplessness prevailed before the start of the summit of heads of state and government on Thursday largely on how the EU can help May to get the agreement through the house of Commons. May asked, before the start of a legally binding assurance that the unpopular catch-all solution (“Backstop”) for Northern Ireland is not a permanent solution.

The will be able to the European Union, the British never are, because the opponent of the idea of the Backstops, said on Thursday diplomats. Finally, it should serve as a reinsurance for the case that the EU and the UK cannot agree to the Brexit on a comprehensive trade agreement, the border eliminates the need for control between the British province of Northern Ireland and the EU Ireland.

EU wants to help May with clarifications

border controls are considered to be threat to peace on the island. If there is no such trade agreement provides the Backstop that the North of Ireland in the customs Union and the internal market, and the rest of the Kingdom remains in a customs Union with the EU. That would make border controls unnecessary.