DUP say they can not support Theresa May's agreement

Cheryl Sanders
March 14, 2019

At a joint news conference, May and Juncker claimed to have succeeded.

The cross extended its sharp intraday retracement slide from over one-week lows and tumbled further after the UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox gave a thumbs down to the UK PM Theresa May's amended last-minute deal with the EU.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted that he was "pleased with the agreement" and implored that British legislators approve the deal.

He stressed that the United Kingdom had a second chance for requests for changes in the agreement but there will not be a third time. It is what we do with this second chance that counts.

That provision, which was to remain in place until the European Union and United Kingdom reached a future trade deal, has been contentious because many DUP and Tory MPs argued it could be used to keep the United Kingdom tied to the European Union indefinitely.


The border has been open and unguarded for 20 years since the Good Friday agreement ended the armed conflict in Northern Ireland, but that status will be much more hard to maintain once Britain is no longer part of the EU. "The documents published by the European Union and United Kingdom last night are complementary to the Withdrawal Agreement & Political Declaration & provide an additional layer of interpretation, clarification and elaboration to the United Kingdom", the Irish Taoiseach said on Twitter.

The proposition was challenged by Labour MP Angela Eagle who claimed the Government's intentions to come back with the "same deal" were "out of order". But the changes appear to fall well short of Brexiteers' demands for a unilateral British exit mechanism from the backstop.

The leaders of the 28 member states will meet next week on March 21 for a long-planned European Council summit, but officials say there will be no third chance to rejig a deal already rejected once by Westminster lawmakers.

"It complicates the issue, it leaves us with the possibility still of a no-deal Brexit, and uncertainty over politics more generally".

"This is a government in chaos, with a country in chaos because of this mess", Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

Will Theresa May resign and will she be able to get her Brexit deal through Parliament? She survived a bid to oust her through a no-confidence vote in December.

However, she sounded a note of caution, noting that the pound remains the best performing G10 currency so far this year.

Whatever Parliament decides, it will not end Britain's Brexit crisis.

"These are unenviable choices", she said.

Geoffrey Cox's legal advice deals a significant blow to the Prime Minister's hopes of securing MPs' backing for her EU Withdrawal Agreement in the second "meaningful vote" on the deal in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening. "We won't know what conditions will be attached", Brexit minister Stephen Barclay told BBC radio.

But if there is a no-deal Brexit, things are a lot more uncertain - the Government has been ramping up preparations to try to prevent shortages of food and medicine amid fears that increased bureaucracy will clog up key ports where goods arrive from the Continent.

Some MPs have already proposed extending Article 50 until the end of this year, while it has been reported the European Union could even seek a delay to Brexit until 2021.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis welcomed the requirement to make alternative arrangements for the backstop, the date and the global arbitration, but said Cox's opinion would be key.

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