In an impromptu speech to Parliament, the Prime Minister has told MPs that despite differences with the European Union, she believes the U.K. will still reach a Brexit deal. It comes amidst increasing difficulties in negotiating over a ‘back-stop’.
The British Government want an agreement covering the whole of the United Kingdom, however the European Union is concerned that the British plan is unfeasible and thus have proposed their own idea, which would see Northern Ireland remain part of the Single Market and Customs Union.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn describes the issue as “beginning to feel like Groundhog Day”, criticising the Government’s lack of action in the run-up to “a critical point in this countries history”. He reiterated that if Theresa May cannot get a good deal, she “has to make way for those who can”.
Meanwhile Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s Westminster Leader, seemed visibly annoyed after Theresa May brushed off his concerns about Northern Ireland being left in the Single Market and Customs Union. In a lengthy answer, she refused to unequivocally state that Northern Ireland would be leaving the E.U. with the rest of Britain, and Dodds appeared to shake his head in disgust by her answer.
In an unreassuring speech, the cracks were on show for the Prime Minister. With the questions and concerns mounting regarding Brexit, she offered very little answers, and those seeking a strong commitment to a definite end date on a customs arrangements will be left with much to desire.
In a highly anticipated moment for many, Dominic Grieve once again threatened to rebel against the government, saying that if the government leads the country towards a conclusion that would see us be in a “two year relationship with the EU… with no say in the rulemaking” and remain bound to a “common rule book”, he would “not be able to support the government unless it is put to the British people again”.
As rumours of a cabinet rebellion stir and Brexit negotiations stalling once again, Theresa May’s attempts to cool tensions will have had little effect.