Brexit deal like terms imposed after military defeat, says Boris Johnson

Muriel Colon
December 14, 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May sought on Thursday to woo MPs with a promise of more power over the next stage of Brexit as she fought to save her European Union withdrawal deal ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote next week.

Earlier, on November 14, May announced that her Cabinet had approved a Brexit deal.

"I believe that if the response is, "we've lost but we will do this all over again" it will become a leadership issue".

Gaffe-prone but popular, Boris Johnson helped give the Leave campaign a friendlier face in 2016, and will also vote down the deal having quit as foreign secretary in protest at May's plans. "She would need to lose by less than 50 MPs (lawmakers) to keep in office probably". But, if faced with the threat of a calamitous no-deal Brexit, and following a narrow Commons defeat, Mrs May might fancy testing their resolve and seeing if she can win some cosmetic changes to appease enough MPs to win a second vote.

The Brexit deal is proving a tough sell, and May is coming under increasing pressure to delay a parliamentary vote scheduled for next week in hopes of wringing concessions out of the EU.

The warnings from institutions like the Bank of England, the CBI, and the Government's own technical papers have been calamitous about the impact of leaving without a deal on March 29 - though some Brexiteers say much of this is an exaggeration.

Meanwhile, the EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has insisted that the agreement with Theresa May is the only deal on offer.

The latest amendment addresses the backstop, an element of the divorce deal that has angered lawmakers in May's party and her allies in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Predicting that France would use this advantage to "plunder" United Kingdom fishing waters, Spain would "make another push for Gibraltar" and Germany would demand concessions on migration, the former Foreign Secretary said: "It is quite incredible that any government could agree to such terms".

Elsewhere, the research also found very little appetite for a General Election, with 84.7% of respondents not in favour of such an outcome. We could have a similar situation, the only blessing they've got is that the Labour Party is nowhere almost united under Jeremy Corbyn as it was under Tony Blair.

May says people in Britain "want us to get on with it", and that it is important ministers speak with communities to explain how her Brexit deal "works for them".

He said: "What we are trying to achieve is something that gets a lot of support from colleagues and that the Government, we hope, will take forward because it will make a real difference to the vote".

"I've been speaking to factory workers in Scotland, farmers in Wales and people right across the country, answering their questions about the deal and our future", she said.

Supporters of a clean break with the European Union say the backstop, meant to ensure no hard border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the EU-member Irish Republic, could leave Britain forced to accept European Union regulations indefinitely, or Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of Britain.

Planning for a no-deal Brexit is continuing apace, however, both by the government and by British firms.

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