Dec 06, 2018 13:22 UTC
  • It’s my deal, no deal or no Brexit, UK PM warns MPs

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has warned British lawmakers that they should make a choice between her Brexit deal, a “no deal” exit from the European Union (EU) or no exit from the bloc at all.

According to reports, May on Thursday said she was speaking to UK lawmakers about giving parliament a bigger role in whether the Northern Irish backstop arrangement would be triggered, though she gave few details.

“There are three options: one is to leave the European Union with a deal... the other two are that we leave without a deal or that we have no Brexit at all,” May said.

The embattled PM, who faces a potential rebellion within her own Tory party, said that some MPs were trying to frustrate Brexit.

“It’s clear that there are those in the House of Commons who want to frustrate Brexit... and overturn the vote of the British people and that’s not right.”

She also said another referendum on Brexit was not necessary, once again rejecting calls by pro-EU critics for a new poll.

Remain campaigners argue that since the June 2016 EU referendum that set the Brexit process in motion, people have changed their minds after learning about the consequences of the move.

The backstop, meant to avoid a hard border between Ireland and UK province of Northern Ireland after Brexit, was a main bone of contention in talks between May and the EU over the past two years.

The EU insists it should be able to include Northern Ireland in its customs union and move the border to the Irish Sea until a mechanism is found for bilateral trade.

Critics say the clause would undermine UK’s sovereignty as it effectively separates Northern Ireland from the mainland Britain.

“There are questions about how decisions are taken as to whether we go into the backstop, because that isn’t an automatic,” she said. “The question is: do we go into the backstop? Do we extend what I call the implementation period?”

When asked repeatedly what her “Plan B” would be if her deal was rejected in Parliament, May did not give straight answers.

EU leaders have made it clear that while small changes in the deal’s text are still possible, renegotiation is out of question. That means May should be able to convince lawmakers and win their support before MPs vote on it on December 11.