Full Interview: Prime Minister Theresa May

Ivan Schwartz
December 7, 2018

The UK Parliament ordered the government to reveal the advice, and the government complied after it lost a crucial vote in the Commons on Tuesday, in what was called a political humiliation for Prime Minister Theresa May.

She suggested MPs could be "given a role" in deciding whether to activate the backstop, which is created to stop the return of a physical border.

In another blow to the Prime Minister it was announced this evening her proposed TV debate with Jeremy Corbyn on ITV was cancelled, this came two days after the BBC also scrapped the head-to-head citing format issues.

Asked if the DUP was prepared to precipitate a general election, the party's Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If it comes to the point where the Government makes, shows, a determination to implement the Withdrawal Agreement with its damaging terms at present, or some future version of it, which is still equally damaging, we will not be supporting the Government".

The Times newspaper reported that senior ministers were urging May to delay the vote for fear of a rout and several lawmakers said they suspected the government may try something to postpone what would be a game-changing defeat.

She said she understood there were concerns from MPs in Parliament over the backstop, a failsafe that would prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

"The backstop is something nobody wants to go into in the first place, and we will be working to make sure that we don't go into it", she said.

Cox warns that the backstop arrangement contained within the withdrawal agreement would "endure indefinitely", a phrase which has enraged Brexiteers who say it would represent an incomplete Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May leaving 10 Downing Street, London for the the House of Commons ahead of a five-day debate on her draft Brexit bill.

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During Prime Minister's Questions, East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell accused the prime minister of allowing the Irish border to become a "negotiating ploy" by the European Union, adding that the backstop was based on a "false political assertion".

Mr Selby added: 'While the Government has strongly signalled its desire to continue paying these increases in the event of a No Deal Brexit, this will only happen if the European Union reciprocates by uprating the state pensions of European Union nationals living in the UK.

This was echoed by Mr Hammond who has told MPs it is "simply a delusion" to think a better Brexit deal can be renegotiated at the 11th hour after warning a no-deal is "too very bad to contemplate".

"I'm backing the deal as I wish to ensure Brexit is delivered".

We have delivered a deal that honours the vote of the British people.

"The question is: do we go into the backstop?"

It is a key condition of the continued support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up May's minority government.

Chief whip Julian Smith acknowledged he faces an "uphill challenge" to persuade MPs to back Mrs May's deal, but insisted "it's all to play for".

Mr Cox found that the protocol setting out the terms of the backstop "does not provide for a mechanism that is likely to enable the United Kingdom lawfully to exit the UK-wide customs union without a subsequent agreement".

Other reports by GizPress

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