Brexit deal comes under fire from May’s allies, foes

Gladys Abbott
December 7, 2018

She suggested MPs could be "given a role" in deciding whether to activate the backstop, which is created to stop the return of a physical border.

Blair repeated his claim to reporters that Brexit will be economically damaging - something backed up by the government's own assessment and that of the Bank of England - and said May should have been more transparent about trade-offs when she set out to negotiate with Brussels.

He said he had already been given authority by his local party's executive to submit a letter to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 Committee, seeking a vote of no confidence in Mrs May.

"(It) would mean an immediate and probably indefinite loss of some security capability which, despite our best efforts, would likely cause some operational disruption when we leave", he said.

May said some in parliament were trying to frustrate Brexit and that she did not think another referendum on Brexit was the right course.

The backstop is an arrangement created to ensure there is no return to a "hard border" between Ireland, which will remain part of the European Union after Brexit, and Northern Ireland when the United Kingdom leaves the bloc next March.

"There are questions about how decisions are taken as to whether we go into the backstop, because that isn't an automatic", she said.

Cox warns that the backstop arrangement contained within the withdrawal agreement would "endure indefinitely", a phrase which has enraged Brexiteers who say it would represent an incomplete Brexit.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said that the 33-paragraph document revealed "the central weaknesses in the Government's deal".

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"This risk must be weighed against the political and economic imperative of both sides to reach an agreement that constitutes a politically stable and permanent basis for their future relationship".

Mr Selby added: 'While the Government has strongly signalled its desire to continue paying these increases in the event of a No Deal Brexit, this will only happen if the European Union reciprocates by uprating the state pensions of European Union nationals living in the UK.

"Perhaps the Prime Minister can tell us which paragraphs breach the national interest?" He said: 'The idea there's an option of renegotiating at the 11th hour is simply a delusion.

RICHARD Benyon was one of 26 Conservative MPs who rebelled against his own Government yesterday on a key vote which could determine what post-Brexit Britain looks like.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which provides May's Conservative Party government with a crucial Parliament majority with its 10 MPs, also voiced its anger, saying it was apparent why the government had tried to "hide" the legal position.

Theresa May will deploy ministers to sell her Brexit deal around the United Kingdom on Friday after Tory backbenchers handed her a possible lifeline to get it through Parliament.

Former foreign minister and leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson said May was wrong to say parliament might be able to choose whether to trigger the backstop or extend a transition period, under which more European Union membership terms would apply.

"This was not about doing deals, it was about listening", said one leading pro-Brexit lawmaker.

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