UK's May pleads for support, says Brexit deal is nearly done

24 October, 2018, 13:30 | Author: Myra Gill
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for a working dinner of EU leaders

A fraught phone call with her Cabinet on Sunday saw ministers line up to challenge the prime minister over her handling of Brexit negotiations. And in Northern Ireland, agreements on the preservation of the particular rights for United Kingdom and Irish citizens.

Protocols have been developed on how Brexit would affect Gibraltar and the UK's military base in Cyprus.

"Taking all of this together, 95% of the withdrawal agreement and its protocols are now settled".

His remarks are likely to infuriate Brussels and the Irish Republic, who have both insisted that a backstop - essentially an insurance policy created to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit - must be part of any withdrawal agreement. She appears to be seeking a legal obligation on the European Union to devise a UK-wide deal that would make the toxic Brussels proposal superfluous.

May opposes this because, she argues, it amounts to splitting the United Kingdom into different customs zones.

But British Prime Minister Theresa argues that separate status for Northern Ireland would threaten the "constitutional integrity" of the United Kingdom and proposed a backstop that would see the United Kingdom as a whole remaining aligned with the EU customs union for a limited time after Brexit.

She stressed that in any circumstances the transition - now due to end at the end of 2020 - would have to be over "well before" the end of the parliament expected in June 2022.

It will mean not giving in to those who want to stop Brexit with a politician's vote.

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media following the October EU summit on October 18 in Belgium.

May appears no closer to solving the Irish backstop impasse, with MPs threatening to depose her if she makes further concessions to the European Union.

A weekend of feverish speculation suggested Mrs May had 72 hours to save her job ahead of a meeting of the 1922 committee of backbench MPs on Wednesday.

If Mrs May believes she can turn to Labour for support to help pass her Brexit plan, she can "think again", Sir Keir Starmer has said.

Mrs May said preparations for no deal remain "essential", but stressed the government was focused on getting a deal.

An early offer of an EU-UK customs arrangement, note EU officials, also runs a risk of angering Britons who want to hold May to her rejection of a customs union. "I would accept that it looks quite a tight vote in the House of Commons, when you bring that agreement to the House of Commons", envoy Kim Darroch said during a panel discussion on Brexit in Washington.

In a separate statement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal could not be allowed to prevent or delay the UK's departure from the EU.

The Plymouth MP slammed May's government for failing to lead over the Windrush scandal, the Grenfell Tower tragedy and Brexit.



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