EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker shakes hands with Prime Minister Theresa May as she

Theresa May to back down on backstop demands in Brexit deal and tell EU the UK doesn’t want to renegotiate

European Leaders Meet To Sign Off Brexit Agreement
Theresa May has backtracked on her agreement to go back to the EU to renegotiate the Brexit deal that was defeated (Source: Getty)
Theresa May has backtracked on her agreement to go back to the EU to renegotiate the Brexit deal that was defeated – Michael Searles, Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email: michael.searles@cityam.com

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to compromise on demands for the Brexit deal to be renegotiated, with the UK government backing down on its requests for changes to the controversial Irish border “backstop” agreement.

The stance could encourage more concessions from EU officials in Brussels but risks making the deal difficult for Parliament members to agree upon, particularly the pro-Brexit members of the Conservative Party who claim the backstop is unacceptable.

It would be a considerable backtrack from May, who told MP’s after her deal was defeated last month, that there needed to be “significant” and “legally binding” changes to the backstop agreement, and that she would reopen discussions regarding the withdrawal agreement.

EU officials have been consistent in refusing the possibility of renegotiating the deal that was struck back in November, despite its House of Commons defeat.

Barclay is reported to have told Barnier that it was not necessary to reopen the deal if it could get desired results through other means.

Bloomberg claim that the EU is willing to consider a separate document as an annexe to the Brexit deal, which would expand on the backstop agreement and possibly include review clauses and a joint commitment to explore alternatives.

Under the current deal the UK would stay in a customs union with the EU, which pro-Brexiteers fear the UK could be trapped in indefinitely.

So far the EU has rejected suggestions that it could be time-limited or have a unilateral exit guarantee.

On Thursday, Conservative MP Steve Baker told Parliament the majority of members want the backstop replaced.

Advertisements
The Week UK Jeremy Corbyn's failure to back a second referendum could have drastic consequences

UK Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer: General election plan no longer ‘credible’

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has been corrected by the Labour leadershipCredit: PA Images
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has been corrected by the Labour leadershipCredit: 
PA Images

“Labour splits on Brexit have been laid bare once more after Sir Keir Starmer appeared to suggest that pushing for a general election was no longer a “credible option” for the party to pursue” – 
Emilio Casalicchio; PoliticsHome

The Shadow Brexit Secretary said the party was now only pursuing two alternatives – a compromise deal based on proposals contained in a letter from Jeremy Corbyn to Theresa May last week, or a second referendum.

Labour’s continued refusal to back a second EU referendum could lead the party to split apart as dissent grows within the ranks, MPs have warned.

Labour’s continued refusal to back a second EU referendum could lead the party to split apart as dissent grows within the ranks, MPs have warned.

But he was slapped down by Jeremy Corbyn’s office, which insisted pressing for an early election remained the party’s “preferred option”.

RELATED: Keir Starmer hints that Labour could accept some EU free movement

RELATED: Labour in Brexit U-turn as Keir Starmer admits ‘any deal’ would need Irish backstop

Under the policy agreed at Labour’s conference, the party vowed to push for an election in the first instance, before pursuing other options, including a “public vote”.

But on Radio Four’s Today programme, Sir Keir said: “We said in September that if there wasn’t a general election then the option of a public vote had to be on the table.

READ RELATED: Will Labour split over Brexit?

“I have said in the last few weeks that in reality for the Labour party the only credible options now left are a close economic relationship – that’s the sort of relationship we spelt out in the letter to the Prime Minister last week – or a public vote.”

When asked about the remarks, a spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: “The options are a general election, which remains our preferred option, some form of agreement along the lines Jeremy laid out in his letter to Theresa May, and failing that a public vote remains an option on the table.

“Keir agrees that a general election as laid out in our conference policy is our preferred option.”

Mr Corbyn wrote to Mrs May earlier this week to say Labour could back her on Brexit if she commits to a permanent customs union with the EU, among other demands.

Reports emerged on Monday that Sir Keir had fought for a line in the letter about backing a second EU referendum – but that his calls were ignored by the leader’s office.

Sir Keir refused to be drawn on the reports this morning. He told the Today programme: “I’m not going into the ins and outs of the drafting of the letter.”

'What don't you like about free trade, Mrs May?'

BREXIT – Pub operator JD Wetherspoon: ‘What don’t you like about free trade, Mrs May?’

JD Wetherspoon has launched a  poster campaign in its pubs (Monday October 15)  calling on the Prime Minister to get rid of tariffs post-Brexit. 

The poster is headlined 'What don't you like about free trade, Mrs May?' and states that free trade means getting rid of tarriffs. Click here to download a copy.
JD Wetherspoon has launched a  poster campaign in its pubs (Monday October 15)  calling on the Prime Minister to get rid of tariffs post-Brexit. 
The poster is headlined ‘What don’t you like about free trade, Mrs May?’

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! News International|In October last year Pub operator JD Wetherspoon launched a  poster campaign in its pubs calling on the Prime Minister to get rid of tariffs post-Brexit. 

The poster is headlined ‘What don’t you like about free trade, Mrs May?’ and states that free trade means getting rid of tarriffs. Click here to download a copy.

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has launched a  poster campaign in its pubs (Monday October 15)  calling on the Prime Minister to get rid of tariffs post-Brexit. 

The poster is headlined 'What don't you like about free trade, Mrs May?' and states that free trade means getting rid of tarriffs. Click here to download a copy.
‘What don’t you like about free trade, Mrs May?’

It is being displayed in 880 Wetherspoon pubs across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said: ” There will be a huge gain for business and consumers if the UK copies the free trade approach of countries like Singapore, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Israel, by slashing protectionist EU import taxes (‘tariffs’) on leaving the EU in March next year.

“It is not often that the government can enrich the electorate without losing tax income, however, this is a rare example.

“These invisible tariffs are charged on over 12,000 non-EU products, including rice, oranges, coffee, wine and children’s clothes. The proceeds are collected by the UK taxman and sent to Brussels. 

“Ending tariffs will reduce shop and pub prices, improve living standards and will help non-EU suppliers, currently discouraged by tariffs, quotas and the extensive paraphernalia of EU protectionism.

“If parliament votes to end tariffs and rejects the ‘Chequers Deal’, consumers and business will benefit additionally by avoiding a cost of £39 billion, or £60 million per UK constituency, in respect of the EU ‘divorce payment’ – for which there is no legal obligation.

“Parliament can also regain control of UK fishing waters, where 60 per cent of the catch is currently taken by EU boats.

“Unfortunately, some individuals, businesses and business organisations have mistakenly, or misleadingly, repeated the myth that food prices will rise without a ‘deal’ with the EU.

“In fact, the only way prices can rise post Brexit is if parliament votes to impose tariffs.

“The EU will have no say in the matter, provided that the government does not sign away the UK’s rights in a ‘deal’ in the meantime.”