- Jan 2019
British Prime Minister, Theresa May will try to convince Tory Brexiteers and DUP MPs to support her Brexit withdrawal deal by resolving Irish Backstop concerns, cabinet sources revealed.
Mrs May last week, said she would focus on cross-party talks to get her deal accepted by Parliament. But it is understood she is now seeking to win approval from her own benches, with the government unlikely to win widespread Labour backing.
Downing Street insisted that cross-party talks were continuing.
The PM who survived a no confidence vote last week, held a conference call on Sunday with her cabinet and it is understood that she wants to show the EU that MPs could back a deal without a backstop, in the hope of encouraging Brussels to soften its position.
The backstop is the “insurance policy” in the withdrawal deal, intended to ensure there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after the UK leaves the EU.
Back in November, Mrs May’s government agreed a withdrawal deal with the EU bothering on issues such as the “divorce bill” and the Irish border – but it was rejected by MPs by a majority of 230 votes.
If Parliament doesn’t approve a withdrawal agreement, the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March without a deal or transition period.
The PM will today address the Commons to explain how she intends to proceed with the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
She will also table a “neutral” motion, simply saying that the Commons has considered her statement, which will be debated and voted upon on 29 January.
This motion is expected to attract amendments from groups of backbenchers seeking more of a say in the process.
Under Mrs May’s deal, if there is not a trade deal or other agreement between the UK and the EU when the transition period ends, the backstop kicks in.
The backstop would see Northern Ireland stay aligned to some rules of the EU single market.