Theresa May is heading to Brussels for an EU summit, less than 24 hours after surviving a vote of confidence.
The prime minister is seeking legally binding pledges from EU leaders on the Irish backstop – a key obstacle for MPs who oppose her Brexit deal.
The EU will not renegotiate the deal but may be willing to give greater assurances on the temporary nature of the backstop, the BBC understands.
The PM won the ballot on her leadership by 200 votes to 117 on Wednesday night.
The secret ballot was triggered by 48 of her MPs angry at her Brexit policy, which they say betrays the 2016 referendum result.
Speaking in Downing Street after the vote, Mrs May vowed to deliver the Brexit “people voted for” but said she had listened to the concerns of MPs who voted against her.
“I have heard what the House of Commons said about the Northern Ireland backstop and, when I go to the European council tomorrow, I will be seeking legal and political assurances that will assuage the concerns that members of parliament have on that issue,” she said.
At Thursday’s summit, she will have an opportunity to spell out face to face the problems surrounding the withdrawal agreement at Westminster to the 27 other EU leaders.
Without Mrs May, the EU leaders will then consider what could be done.
A draft of the European Council conclusions on Brexit says the EU would use its “best endeavours to negotiate and conclude expeditiously a subsequent agreement that would replace the backstop so that it would only be in place for a short period and only as long as strictly necessary.”
In other words, the EU would continue trying to negotiate a trade deal with the UK even if the Irish backstop had been triggered at the end of the transition period.
The Brexit withdrawal agreement only talks about ‘best endeavours’ being used to reach an agreement during the transition period.
But the draft put forward by the European Council could be subject to change, the BBC’s Adam Fleming says.
Westminster critics of Mrs May’s Brexit deal might also complain that it is not legally binding.
But the same document reiterates that the withdrawal agreement is not open to renegotiation, adding that it would not have been even if the Conservative Party had changed leaders.