How Trump Has Made Theresa May’s Brexit Deal an Even Tougher Sell

28 November, 2018, 01:04 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • May defends draft Brexit deal

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday the UK's Brexit agreement may hamper trade between Washington and London, a suggestion rejected by the latter.

The US president's objections were aimed at the fact that under the terms negotiated by May the United Kingdom would remain in a customs union with the EU for a 21-month transition period while Britain negotiates a fuller trade deal with the EU.

She said on Tuesday: "We will have an independent trade policy and we will be able to do trade deals with countries around the rest of the world", citing a political declaration on future relations with the European Union agreed in Brussels on Sunday. And that wouldn't be a good thing.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, a champion of the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, said: "When people like Michael Fallon, an uber-loyalist, can not vote for this deal you know the prime minister is facing a historic defeat".

"This is the best deal, and it's also the only deal, and European Union leaders have made that clear", he said.

"The British people want MPs to get on with a deal and allow the country to come together", she said.

"For the good of the nation, the House has very little choice but to reject this deal", he said.

"We have a working group set up and that is working very well, has met several times and is continuing to work with the USA on this".

May's Downing Street office hit back at Trump's comments, saying that Britain would be free to strike its own trade agreements outside the bloc.

But in a huge show of support to the British Prime Minister, Mr Varadkar warned Sinn Féin should consider resigning ahead of the vote in the House of Commons if they can not take up their seats because of their abstention policy.

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A meaningful vote is set to take place on 11 December.

When May defended the deal in parliament on Monday, more than an hour passed before a Conservative voiced support for the agreement.

"I don't believe that, so far, this deal delivers on what the British people really voted for", former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith told Sky News on Sunday. "It would open the door to more division and more uncertainty, with all the risks that will entail".

In a sign she intends to appeal directly to voters, Mrs May said parliamentarians had a "duty" to listen to their constituents before taking their decision in the national interest.

Mrs May has mobilised the government to sell the pact with a nationwide tour planned as well as handing down on orders to every minister to sell her deal to those affected by their ministerial brief.

May, who ducked televised debates during the 2017 snap general election, challenged Corbyn to a TV contest round about December 9.

"This is a Brexit bombshell and it has blown apart the whole government's post-Brexit trade strategy", she said.

May says "it is the best possible deal".

Scores of legislators - from both the opposition and May's governing Conservative Party - have vowed to oppose it. Rejection would plunge Britain into a political crisis and potential financial turmoil just weeks before it is due to leave the European Union on March 29.

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