Brexit transition must be short, says minister

Lester Mason
October 23, 2018

"What I would say is that the prime minister has always been very clear that we must set a tone in public discourses which is neither dehumanizing nor derogatory; personal vitriol has no place in our politics".

When asked if May was hanging by a thread, Raab said it was a pretty strong thread and that there were reports every week that almost 48 Tory MPs had written to Brady demanding a vote of no confidence.

The most mind-boggling paradox about the impasse over the Northern Ireland backstop is that if it leads to a no-deal Brexit there would be nerve-wracking uncertainty about whether the 300-mile border between NI and the Republic would and could be kept open - which is precisely what the backstop is created to prevent.

"Taking all of this together, 95 per cent of the Withdrawal Agreement and its protocols are now settled", she will say, according to excerpts from her statement to parliament.

She told Parliament that in the past three weeks agreement had been reached on everything from the status of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar on the European mainland to security cooperation with the EU.

Image caption Simon Coveney said: "There will be no withdrawal agreement without the backstop, end of story".

The DUP MP was speaking after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the Northern Ireland backstop plan must be dropped if the prime minister wants to extend the UK's 21-month transition period, which is expected to end in December 2020.

Prime Minister Theresa May urged restive lawmakers to back her in the final stages of Britain's exit from the European Union, saying talks were in their most hard phase even if a deal was close. "And I certainly will not".

Furious backbenchers warned the prime minister that she was "drinking in the last chance saloon" after tensions flared over her negotiating strategy following a Brussels summit.

Theresa May may be most troubled by something else too: one feature of the EU's no-deal preparations would be a package provided by the EU26 to Dublin to cushion Ireland from the economic shock of a temporary or prolonged increase in the costs for Irish businesses of selling to Britain.

Mrs May will face down her mutinous MPs today when she gives an update in Parliament on last week's European Union summit.

The Northern Ireland Secretary added: "In any situation we will not allow there to be a border on that island". There will be a vote in Parliament that follows.

Duncan Smith said: "We are presenting some ideas which we think are constructive and we had a constructive discussion".

"Now we are going to go back and talk to the government about it".

He added that whoever briefed in violent terms about the prime minister's future "needs to have the fullest weight of the Conservative Party upon them".

"Any amendment to the motion would not be able to effect amendments to the withdrawal agreement or the future framework,
which will have been agreed at the global level between the United Kingdom and the European Union;
nor could any such amendment delay or prevent our departure from the EU as set out under article 50", Mr Raab told MPs.

Acknowledging clearly that those calling for a second vote are only doing so out of a desire to stop Brexit from happening altogether, May told the Commons: "Serving our national interest will demand that we hold our nerve through these last stages of the negotiations - the hardest part of all".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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