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New Brexit vote will be before Jan. 21: UK PM May's spokesman

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in the House of Commons, London, Britain, December 10, 2018. Parliament TV handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s parliament will vote on whether to approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal before Jan. 21, her spokesman said on Tuesday.

May had been due to hold the vote later on Tuesday, but on Monday announced she would defer it and seek extra reassurances from the European Union to make sure it got through parliament.

May is looking to resolve the impasse over her deal as quickly as possible and intends to get the assurances she needs from European leaders before Jan. 21, the spokesman told reporters.

“The government will ensure that the matter is brought back to the Commons before 21 January,” he said. When asked whether that meant there would be a vote before then, he said: “Correct”.

The spokesman also said May had earlier held a productive meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the first stop on a tour of European capitals. The two agreed to work to find a way through the current situation, he said.

“The prime minister set out the concerns held by many about it in the UK. She discussed the need for additional assurances on this point in order for the deal with the EU to pass the House of Commons,” he said.

“What is important here is getting something that is going to satisfy parliament, and we are open to how we achieve that.”

May will hold a meeting of her cabinet on Wednesday afternoon.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, writing by William James, editing by Stephen Addison