Wednesday 19 June 2019

Q&A: PM makes final bid to get deal over line but expectations here are low

A view of the Palace of Westminster. Stock picture
A view of the Palace of Westminster. Stock picture
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

When is this second Brexit referendum taking place?

It may never happen. Theresa May only committed to allowing MPs to vote on whether they should have another referendum or not. But it is likely the House of Commons will vote down such a proposal.

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Mrs May said she was personally against another referendum, but understood some politicians had "genuine and sincere" feelings on the issue.

What else is she offering?

She said she would align UK workers' rights with those of EU citizens post-Brexit.

She also said she would maintain the same environmental standards as the EU and keep the same regulations on goods and products to ensure trade is not disrupted.

She said she will ensure there is near frictionless trade with the EU once the UK leaves the single market but she will end free movement of people.

How is she addressing the Irish Border?

The prime minister told MPs she would make a legal commitment to completing negotiations on alternatives to the Northern Ireland backstop by December 2020.

She also said she would align Northern Ireland and British rules and regulations should the backstop come into force.

Did she offer anything else?

She also said the parliament would be able to vote on any future customs union the UK might have with the EU.

Will any of this work?

All will depend on how the Commons votes next month when she puts the deal to the parliament. However, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn already said his MPs will be instructed to vote against the deal.

What does all this mean for Ireland?

The Government and EU will have no issue with the offer as it does not require renegotiating the Withdrawal Agreement. However, there is no great expectation in Dublin Mrs May will convince MPs to back her deal.

Irish Independent

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