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

Cheryl Sanders
December 7, 2018

The government had refused previous requests to publish the advice, which comes just a week before MPs vote on the deal itself, saying it would set a risky precedent if the Attorney General could not provide the Prime Minister with honest, confidential legal advice without fear of it being made public.

A vote will take place if Sir Graham receives 48 such letters. The Island and Bob voted to leave 2-years-ago.

But EU negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday the deal was the best Britain will get, while British finance minister Philip Hammond said it was "simply a delusion" to think the agreement could be renegotiated if parliament rejects it.

"Sadly I believe the Government's deal fails to achieve this and I can not therefore support it".

DUP leader Arlene Foster, whose party opposes Mrs May's deal, warned that the amendment would not be enough, tweeting: "Domestic legislative tinkering won't cut it. The legally binding global withdrawal treaty would remain fundamentally flawed, as evidenced by the attorney general's legal advice".

Supporters of a clean break with the European Union say the backstop, meant to ensure no hard border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the EU-member Irish Republic, could leave Britain forced to accept European Union regulations indefinitely, or Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of Britain.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the backstop would be introduced if a trade deal had not been agreed by both sides by the time the transition period ends in December 2020.

The PM's deal is now supported by only 27 per cent of Brits putting her offer level with a no deal agreement (even though a no deal has a lead support in 30 seats).

"In a sign of the ever-growing divisions over Brexit, the BBC announced that it has abandoned plans for a proposed televised debate between May and Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday after both sides failed to agree on a format".

About 90 Conservatives are, at the moment, expected to rebel when MPs vote on the deal next Tuesday.

"It's having the answer to that question of substance that is most important, not the timing, so if that question can be answered in the course of the next few days then all well and good".

"First of all because in that backstop we will be making no financial obligation to the European Union; we will not be accepting free movement; and there will be very light-touch level-playing field requirements", she said.

On Wednesday, May's top parliamentary enforcer, or chief whip, Julian Smith, spent an hour meeting with pro-Brexit Conservative and DUP lawmakers, listening to their concerns about the deal.

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Smith insisted there was no "Plan B" ready to be unveiled if the PM's proposals are voted down.

He said he had already been given authority by his local party's executive to submit a letter to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 Committee, seeking a vote of no confidence in Mrs May. Yes I am meeting colleagues, I'm listening to colleagues' concerns.

Prime Minister Theresa May leaving 10 Downing Street, London for the the House of Commons ahead of a five-day debate on her draft Brexit bill.

Other reports by iNewsToday