May 'not looking to scrap the backstop'

Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday made clear that she is only seeking to make changes to the hated backstop trap, rather than scrap it altogether.

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In news that won’t go down with many Brexiteers, she followed a speech in Belfast by answering a question on a potential UK-EU deal with no backstop and said: “I’m not proposing to persuade people to accept a deal that doesn’t contain that insurance policy for the future.

“What Parliament has said is that they believe there should changes made to the backstop.”

She hinted that her approach may be focused on a time-limit: “The issue that has always been raised across all sides of the House of Commons is the potentially indefinite nature of the backstop. That is the issue we look to address.”

Tory Brexiteer MP Simon Clarke responded by saying: “This would be a serious error of judgement if true. The whole Brady amendment rested upon replacing the backstop with alternative arrangements – and serious figures from both the Leave and Remain camps are working incredibly hard in good faith to develop the #MalthouseCompromise.”

DUP Leader Arlene Foster said that the May needed to “replace” the backstop and Sammy Wilson had also called for it to be removed as “the backstop is really designed to keep the UK as a whole in the Customs Union and the Single Market”.

It looks like Brexiteer MPs are going to stand firm. Tinkering with the rotten, rejected deal isn’t an option. Fundamental changes are needed. Hopefully the PM is listening and understands that before she heads back to Brussels.