My Deal or No Deal, UK Leader May Declares on Brexit
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has declared that her Brexit blueprint, known as the Chequers plan, is the only viable option for Britain.
“I think that the alternative to that will be having no deal,” May told the BBC on the possibility that the British Parliament might decline to ratify the Chequers plan.
This is not the first time the UK leader has vowed to make no compromises with her blueprint for Brexit regardless of the fact that it remains heavily criticized by the Brexiteers within her ruling Conservative Party, not to mention that some of its key provisions have been dismissed by the EU.
May also criticized plans by Brexiteers to resolve the Irish border issue, possibly the thorniest Brexit bone of contention, arguing there has to be “friction-free movement of goods” with no customs or regulatory checks between the UK and EU on the island of Ireland, in order to avoid a hard border there.
Her criticism comes after last week, a group of Brexiteers from the Conservative Party insisted the usage of technology and modified arrangements could help avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“You don’t solve the issue of no hard border by having a hard border 20km inside Ireland,” she said, arguing that any system of checks is “still a hard border”.
Meanwhile, The Times has reported that the EU is “secretly preparing to accept a frictionless Irish border”, with EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier working on a new “protocol” text outlining a plan to use technology to minimize checks.
May’s comments come after last week about 50 members of the European Research Group, a Tory-affiliated grouping supporting Brexit, openly discussed how and when they could force her to stand down as prime minister.
The British Prime Minister’s Brexit plan, however, was defended by Brexit-supporting Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who told the BBC that the Chequers blueprint was the right one for the time being.
“The Chequers approach is the right one for now because we have got to make sure that we respect that vote and take advantage of the opportunities of being outside the European Union,” he stated.
A Comres poll commissioned by BBC Radio 5 Live shows a persisting split in Britain, as 50% of British adults feel the overall impact of Brexit will be negative, whereas 41% think it will be positive.
Almost 79% of the respondents thought that the government had handled the Brexit talks with the EU badly, and 63% thought the EU had handled them badly.
(Banner image: Theresa May on Twitter)