Theresa May 'facing more resignations over her Brexit deal'

Cheryl Sanders
November 6, 2018

Brexit is undermining Northern Ireland's hard-won peace by creating tensions between Catholic and Protestant communities, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Saturday, even as hopes rose for a solution to the Irish border problem that has deadlocked negotiations.

David Davis pointed out that Britain's attorney general Geoffrey Cox reportedly said that "any Northern Ireland-only arrangements for customs after Brexit could mean the Province was "torn out of the UK" and leave it "controlled by the EU".

She wants a way of bringing it to an end.

The sides in the negotiations on the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union have signalled progress on agreeing customs arrangements for an emergency Irish border fix but differences persist on the lifespan of the so-called "backstop".

Asked about the report, a spokesman at May's office said: "This is all speculation".

The conversation followed a report that Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has privately demanded the right to pull Britain out of the Irish backstop after just three months.

Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, denounced an agreement along those lines as an "absolute stinker" and urged Cabinet ministers to reject it.

In a letter to Mrs May they say Parliament should not be bound by the 2016 vote any more than it should be by the 1975 referendum that took Britain into the European Union, especially when there are question marks over its validity.

Reports at the weekend suggested that the EU is now ready to contemplate concessions which would keep all of the United Kingdom in a temporary customs union following the end of a transition period due to end on December 31 2020.

"My guess is that the customs union style deal that Theresa May is lining up. she'll get it through parliament", he said.

Some at the highest levels of government fear that, unless progress is agreed by Tuesday when the May sees her senior ministers and parliament breaks for recess, the cabinet may not have a direct input before a summit announcement is made.

Under the banner headline "May's Secret Brexit Deal", the newspaper said she's also on course to gain an agreement on a "future economic partnership" that will allow Britain to keep open the prospect of a similar free-trade accord to the one Canada has with the EU.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Government said that both leaders emphasised their commitment to avoiding a hard border and the need for a legally-operable backstop.

"While we too hope the Northern Ireland backstop will never be required to be used, it will be required to be written down in legal text".

"I think that if we get a deal then there could well be a swing back to leave, if we don't get a deal then I suspect there'll be a further swing to Remain".

The two sides now have only days left to bridge the remaining gap in order for an European Union summit to be called this month that could sign off a divorce agreement.

Other reports by iNewsToday