May claims Brexit deal in sight
Amid more speculation that she has 50 hours to save her job, May’s prepared remarks say “95 per cent of the withdrawal agreement and its protocols are now settled” with major advances in “the last three weeks alone”.
Around 700,000 pro-EU protesters marched on parliament on Saturday and a Conservative Party MP called May’s government as a “shit show”.
She is expected to confirm that protocols have been developed on the impact on Gibraltar and the British military base in Cyprus.
Her backbenchers said the bungling prime minister “drinking in the last chance saloon” after tensions flared over her negotiations at last week’s Brussels summit.
Brexit minister Dominic Raab claimed the agreement must be finalised by the end of November to allow Conservative laws to be put in place in time by the March departure date.
The opposition Labour Party warned May it will vote against her Brexit proposals in the Commons.
Labour’s Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer said he had no lack of confidence May could bring back “anything by way of a good deal”.
This would leave her minority administration dependent on her divided party, which largely is pro-EU, Labour rebels and her troubled alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry said many of her colleagues were privately supportive of another referendum amid bitter divisions in the party.
May is due to tell MPs: ”The commitment to avoiding a hard border [in Ireland] is one that this house emphatically endorsed and enshrined in law in the Withdrawal Act earlier this year.”
The enfeebled prime minister will also say: ”As I set out last week, the original backstop proposal from the EU was one we could not accept, as it would mean creating a customs border down the Irish Sea and breaking up the integrity of the UK.”
Scottish Conservative MPs have reportedly said they will not support a Brexit deal if it includes extending EU control over fishing.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said that he could not support any deal that involved staying part of the common fisheries policy after the proposed 2020 deadline.
The fishing policy sets out the rules governing EU fishing to manage fish stocks and fleets and includes the setting of quotas.
Concerns have been raised over the possibility of the UK remaining part of the policy beyond December 2020, after London caved in again to try to secure an agreement with Brussels.
Pro-EU protesters are increasingly vocal about the need for a People’s Vote. Picture credit: Eurasia Times