Brexit deal 95% done says Theresa May

24 October, 2018, 01:46 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Mr Raab said 'the end is in sight in terms of a good deal'

However, May said there was "one real sticking point left:" that of avoiding a return to a "hard" Irish border.

That speculation was not eased by the trip by former cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson to Brussels on Monday (22 October) to meet European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier on behalf of the European Research Group of around 60 hard Brexit supporting MPs.

Her opponents had spent the weekend claiming they were close to gathering sufficient support to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, with Wednesday's meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs being billed as a make-or-break moment for her leadership.

Last week, May indicated she could accept extending the transition period in which the United Kingdom would remain subject to the customs union and single market beyond December 2020 in an attempt to reach a free-trade agreement that would prevent the backstop being used.

In a Commons statement after talks with European Union leaders in Brussels, the Prime Minister will say the "shape of the deal across the vast majority" of the withdrawal agreement is now clear.

The EU proposed a backstop that would mean Northern Ireland staying in the EU customs union, large parts of the single market and the EU VAT system, while the rest of the United Kingdom left.

No amendment made by parliament would be able to affect the withdrawal agreement made at an worldwide level, he said.

May said the EU had shifted and was "actively working with us" on a British counter-proposal that would keep the whole United Kingdom in a customs union with the bloc. Although May called any extension "undesirable", she said there were some circumstances in which it could be desirable.

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Facing some of the fiercest criticism to date over her Brexit plans after the two sides failed again to reach agreement at a summit last week, Mrs May will try to calm passions in Parliament, where her strategy has angered euro-sceptics and European Union supporters alike.

Earlier, the PM's spokesman said he would not dignify the attacks on Mrs May by responding to them but made clear she expected those in public life to avoid "dehumanising" and "derogatory" language.

Parliamentarians expressed their lack of confidence in the Conservative leader and support for a referendum on the final terms of any Brexit deal.

May's backstop counterproposal is for the United Kingdom as a whole to stay in a customs union with the EU.

This news comes less than 24 hours after it was reported that May had 72 hours to save her job.

"There is no current plan for how they're going to fudge Northern Ireland. The Brexit mood music remains negative for the Pound, which could fall more sharply if a leadership challenge materialises in the coming months", says Hardman in a briefing to clients.

Downing Street told CNN it would not be commenting on Mercer's interview.

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