Battling PM "determined" Britain to quit European Union on time

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British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will seek a "pragmatic" Brexit deal that can win over both the European Union and her own MPs when she returns to Brussels for talks.

"When I return to Brussels I will be battling for Britain and Northern Ireland, I will be armed with a fresh mandate, new ideas and a renewed determination to agree a pragmatic solution that delivers the Brexit the British people voted for".

In the interview with the Funke media group, Maas repeated the EU's position that the withdrawal agreement thrashed out between Brussels and London, which was rejected by Britain's parliament last month, could not be renegotiated. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

On Sunday, British trade minister Liam Fox told Sky News it would be irresponsible for the European Union not to reopen negotiations over the deal.

She said she would be "battling for Britain" to ensure that there was no hard border in Ireland.

He said that if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal on March 29 "everyone will suffer more than they need to and Northern Ireland will stand to suffer the most".

"The EU will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and there will be no withdrawal agreement without the backstop", he wrote, adding that the backstop was required to "ensure the protection of the Good Friday Agreement".

With less than two months until Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29, concerns are growing over the risk of a disorderly "no deal" exit.

The backstop is meant to ensure there is no return to a hard border with Ireland, but Brexit supporters fear it will keep Britain tied to the EU's customs rules. "That is what Parliament instructed me to do".

Despite Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt saying on Thursday that extra time might be needed to finalise the deal, May insisted in her column the departure date won't change.

May's office denied a report in two Sunday newspapers that her advisors were considering a June election.

"This represents a significant step towards delivering Brexit and fulfilling the instruction given to us by the British public".

The backstop is meant to ensure there is no return to a hard border with Ireland, but Brexit supporters fear it will keep Britain tied to the EU's customs rules.

On a visit to Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday, he said: "I don't think any MP will sell their votes in that way - that sort of bribery and corruption".

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney wrote in the Sunday Times: "The backstop is a necessary guarantee, based on legal certainty, not just wishful thinking".

The shadow chancellor claimed reports Theresa May might offer incentives to pro-Brexit backbenchers was the latest example of what he called the Conservatives' use of "pork barrel" politics, following its post-election spending deal with the DUP.

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