May's let European Union 'blackmail and bully' Britain, ex-Brexit minister says

Lester Mason
November 18, 2018

In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron were to meet on Sunday to bolster their alliance and promote European unity as fallout from the Brexit deal continues. She then suddenly raised stakes, saying that "the choice before us is clear - this deal or leave with no deal". As things stand, it's looking increasingly likely that MPs will reject it.

The backstop would mean that Northern Ireland would stay aligned to some European Union rules on things like food products and goods standards, which critics say is unacceptable.

Much of the reason he said he wouldn't support Theresa May's deal was because it was "vague" and did not say enough about workers rights and environmental protections.

Anything but a defeat for the prime minister therefore appears unlikely. A vote could happen as early as Monday. Here's how it could all play out. There are two distinct types of no-deal exit.

Theresa May's "deal"' is in two parts - a withdrawal agreement that includes half-baked proposals for a backstop, and a political declaration that is incredibly vague and opens the gate to a hard Tory Brexit. "For the first time in a generation or more we will decide who comes to this country and, just as importantly, who does not", the defiant prime minister said.

Gove said Friday that he "absolutely" had confidence in May, adding that he would work with government colleagues to achieve "the best future for Britain". However unlikely it may seem, the possibility can not be ruled out.

"I've seen no plausible alternative plan from any of those criticizing her or wanting to challenge her position", Lidington said.

Also on Sunday, the Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC her party would vote against the Brexit deal. It would certainly not be impossible to force an election, but under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act it would require at least 7 Conservative MPs to join the opposition in backing one for a new election to be held.

"For a lot of people who voted 'leave, ' what they wanted to do was make sure that decisions on things like who can come into this country would be taken by us here in the United Kingdom, and not by Brussels, and that's exactly what the deal I've negotiated delivers", she said. He added: "Had that been the choice, I personally would have voted to remain".

But instead, they have remained in the Cabinet - for now - to try and secure the changes they want to the Brexit strategy from within the government.

On Wednesday, May stated that the draft deal - published in full by the European Commission - is the best that could be negotiated, and is in the country's interest.

Businesses, which fear the turmoil that could follow a disorderly Brexit, have largely welcomed the withdrawal deal.

But a ComRes poll for The Sunday Mirror suggests that grass roots Conservatives are happy for May to stay on in Downing Street. Meanwhile the Conservative MP for Richmond, Zac Goldsmith, has revealed he has written a letter of no confidence in May to the party's 1922 Committee. A Conservative government would nearly certainly never legislate for such an outcome. "In the future we will leave customs union". Theresa May - or whoever succeeds her after being forced out - could put the current deal, or a marginally renegotiated one, before parliament a second time.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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