Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

May seeks compromise with European Union to save Brexit deal

May seeks compromise with European Union to save Brexit deal

Instead, she said her focus was on salvaging her plan for an orderly Brexit.

"The Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration are fair and balanced and represent, given EU principles, current United Kingdom red lines and the commitments set out in the Good Friday Agreement, the only deal possible to ensure an orderly withdrawal from the European Union", the statement said.

"I don´t expect an immediate breakthrough but what I do hope is that we can start to work as quickly as possible on the assurances that are necessary".

European diplomats are discussing a two-step plan that would see a brief political statement issued at the summit, followed in January by a legal interpretation of the deal.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who earlier met with May on the sidelines of the summit, stressed again the backstop must be part of the deal.

But European Council president Donald Tusk said the withdrawal agreement was "not open for renegotiation". "Indeed it is the only deal capable of getting through my Parliament", she said.

Less than four months before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, the country's exit is in chaos. For comparison, Margaret Thatcher resigned in 1990 after 43 percent voted against her.

Opposition to the deal in Britain is focused on a so-called "backstop" arrangement created to keep the border with Ireland open unless and until a new UK-EU trade deal is signed.

It said that if the backstop was ever activated the European Union would seek to ensure it "would only be in place for a short period and only as long as strictly necessary".

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And it will add: "The union stands ready to examine whether any further assurances can be provided. There will be no legally binding obligations imposed on the withdrawal treaty".

"This is incredibly innocent language".

"Now the MPs in London should be responsible and know if they want to have the best possible deal or to go in the direction where they don't know what will come out" he said.

Mr Blair said: 'We have had 30 months of negotiation.

European officials insist in public and in private that the backstop must stay. The number declaring no confidence was far higher than anticipated: the European Research Group, the hardline Brexiteer grouping of MPs, had been briefing that eighty-four rebels were expected; in the end, a further thirty-three MPs secretly voted to oust the prime minister, a total of 37 percent of Conservative MPs.

While May's position as party leader - and prime minister, as long as there is no snap election - is safe for another year, her struggle is far from over.

"Nobody is talking about and nobody is being asked to - by the British prime minister - to change the wording of the withdrawal agreement", Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said in Dublin.

Anna Soubry ruled out including the current Labour front bench, explaining: "I would encompass Plaid Cymru, the SNP and other sensible, pragmatic people who believe in putting this country's interests first and foremost". But a hush fell over the usually rowdy Conservatives as the results were read out - 200 had voted for the prime minister, 117 against.

May's critics within her own party are stuck with her through the Brexit process - the failure to win this week's confidence vote means they can't launch another challenge for 12 months - though this did not stop some, including hard Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg, calling for her to resign voluntarily.

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