May's Brexit deal under fire as legal advice stiffens opposition

Theresa May addresses the media during the G20 Leaders Summit in Buenos Aires Argentina

Theresa May addresses the media during the G20 Leaders Summit in Buenos Aires Argentina

Mrs May is reportedly dead set on delivering the result of the 2016 referendum and "loses her temper and raises her voice" when the prospect of a re-run of the vote is raised.

Parliament is midway through a five-day debate on the Brexit deal, ahead of the crunch vote that will define Britain's departure from the European Union and could determine May's own future as leader.

"It is clear from the Attorney General's advice on the legal effect of the protocol on Northern Ireland to the Prime Minister and her Cabinet colleagues that we were right to advocate its full publication and we have been vindicated in our opposition to the backstop arrangements contained within the Withdrawal Agreement", said Nigel Dodds, the DUP leader in the Commons.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the scheduled Prime Minister's Questions time in the House of Commons, in London, December 5, 2018.

Parliament's vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal will go ahead on December 11, her office said on Thursday, despite a newspaper report ministers had sought a delay to prevent a defeat so big that it might bring down the government.

"She either has to go back to Brussels and say no to the backstop or it's no deal.

It is a vote in which the future of their country is at stake", he said.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said the advice on the Withdrawal Agreement from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox would be published on Wednesday morning, after MPs on Tuesday found the Government to be in contempt of Parliament for the first time in modern history.

Powerful Tory backbencher Sir Graham Brady hinted he and other MPs may need "reassurance" over ending the Northern Irish backstop before they can back Theresa May's Brexit deal.

May has repeatedly said that if lawmakers reject her deal with Brussels, which would see Britain exit the European Union on March 29 with continued close ties, the only alternatives are leaving without a deal or reversing Brexit.

Supporters of Brexit have said that if Brexit is reversed, the United Kingdom will be thrust into a constitutional crisis as the financial and political elite will have thwarted the democratic will of the people.

"The alternative is uncertainty and risk - the risk Brexit could be stopped, the risk we could crash out with no deal".

Opening a third day of debate, Mr Hammond told the Commons a no-deal Brexit would be "too bad to contemplate". In the implementation period we still have to negotiate the terms, but there will be concerns that there would be more money to be paid, for example. On Wednesday, May's parliamentary enforcer, or chief whip, Julian Smith, spent an hour meeting pro-Brexit Conservative and DUP lawmakers, listening to their concerns about the deal.

And he said that - despite assurances from both London and Brussels that it is meant to be temporary - the protocol would "endure indefinitely" under worldwide law until another agreement takes its place.

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

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.