Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May’s statement to MPs about what she plans next following the Commons defeat of her Brexit plan
Ireland’s Europe minister, Helen McEntee, has ruled out bilateral talks on Brexit with the DUP and any other political party in the UK. She said the negotiations were between the European Union and the UK. Speaking on Morning Ireland about reports claiming the UK government is considering how a UK-Ireland treaty could resolve the backstop issue, she said:
What we can’t do and won’t do, because we have not throughout this entire process, is engage in any kind of bilateral negotiations with the DUP or any other political party in the North or the UK.
It is not negotiable for us and I really doubt any parties in the south or north or those in the UK would agree to it.
We have 94% of the people here who voted overwhelmingly to support the Good Friday agreement and it was over 70% in the north.
George Osborne, the Conservative former chancellor, thinks Theresa May would rather have a no-deal Brexit than no Brexit. He now edits the Evening Standard, and, in an “editor’s reply” slot in the paper today, he says he thinks that would be May’s preference because, when it comes to the crunch, she will put party first. He says:
As it happens, however, I understand why [Jeremy] Corbyn doesn’t want to enter talks with Theresa May. It’s all been a short-lived Downing Street stunt. The prime minister all but confirmed that on the call to the cabinet last night that was leaked.
She will never make the move needed to win over substantial cross-party support for a Brexit deal, because it would further rupture the Conservatives.Continue reading...
21/01/2019 - www.theguardian.com