Theresa May Faces Opposition From Political Friends And Foes Alike On Brexit

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New Delhi: British Prime Minister Theresa May said she is working on getting further assurances from the European Union to ensure the Brexit agreement is passed in Parliament on January 15. She is faced with continuing opposition from political friends and foes alike.

The first day of the winter session saw a repeat of the cut-and-thrust between pro and anti-Brexit forces, as a spokesperson of the European Union in Brussels said the agreement will not renegotiated, “everything on the table has been approved and... the priority now is to await events” in the UK.

Without legally binding assurances that the so-called ‘backstop’ for Northern Ireland will not be in place indefinitely, the agreement is unlikely to be endorsed by parliament. Its passage through parliament is necessary to turn it into a treaty between the UK and EU.

The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29, adding pressure on various stake-holders to ensure that an agreement is in place to overseen future arrangements between the two that have had a symbiotic relationship since 1973, when the UK joined the EU.

May said she is working on getting further assurances from the EU so she can satisfy recalcitrant MPs. According to her, there has been “some further movement from the EU”, but did not elaborate. The “further measures”, she said, would be set out before the vote on January 15.

May did not respond to an urgent question tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “on progress made in achieving legal changes to the EU withdrawal agreement and the timetable in this House for the meaningful vote”, but is due to face him during Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday.

Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay responded to Corbyn, insisting that EU leaders went further than before in giving assurances that the backstop would be temporary during their summit in December.

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