January 19, 2019

UK DUP Considers Backstop the 'Poison' in Brexit Deal

07 January 2019, 01:27 | Hattie Nash

Image The PM will head up a new 'no-deal' Brexit committee next week

Theresa May

May said the vote in parliament would be held around 15 January, as expected, countering reports that she could delay it.

But parliamentary opposition to her deal remains fierce, with the main sticking point being the safety net "backstop" measure - which would guarantee no hard border is erected on the island of Ireland in the event that post-Brexit trade negotiations between the United Kingdom and the bloc prove unsuccessful.

Describing what would happen if she was defeated, May told the BBC: "We're going to be in uncharted territory".

As the parliamentary debate on her deal is due to begin next week, on 9 January.

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable and Green MP Caroline Lucas also tabled an amendment to stop the Treasury raising income or corporation tax unless parliament approved a deal.

Emily Thornberry has attacked the campaign for a second Brexit referendum for thinking its job is to "slap the Labour Party around".

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Theresa May, facing an uphill battle to convince MPs to vote for her Brexit deal, admitted: 'I don't think anybody can say exactly what will happen in terms of the reaction we will see in Parliament'.

Theresa May this morning warned a second referendum would be "disrespecting" people who voted for Brexit.

"Others across the House of Commons are so focused on their particular vision of Brexit that they risk making a flawless ideal the enemy of a good deal".

The Prime Minister repeatedly sidestepped questions in the interview on whether she would simply keep putting the deal back to MPs with amendments in an attempt to get it through.

The poll of more than 25,000 voters was commissioned by the "People's Vote" campaign, which is spearheading an increasingly vocal push for a second referendum.

The UK is poised to leave the EU on March 29, two years after it triggered Article 50, the exit clause in the EU's constitution, and kick-started arduous negotiations with European leaders over a divorce deal.

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"Given that parliament voted overwhelmingly, in the end, to have the referendum, parliament voted overwhelmingly, in the end, to accept the result of the referendum, and parliament has now legislated to implement the referendum, I find it rather lame that people are now saying "Oh, we didn't mean that".

Sir Vince Cable said: 'The time has now come for MPs to assert their authority by making it impossible for the government to collect crucial taxes if they do pursue a damaging no deal'.

"There are some MPs who are looking for an excuse to back the deal and so, something tokenistic and declaratory from the European Union on the backstop clause would work for them, but I don't understand how that would work for the DUP, and that's where the action is", he added.

Mr Gardiner insisted that a Labour government would be able to get a "different, better deal" to the one secured by Mrs May as it would not have the same red lines. "We would I think at that point need to go back to the people again".

"And it seems to me, at a personal level, what I would then say is that is the time when we would then say to people "now make your decision on what we have managed to conclude".

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