The rejection of a Brexit deal would strengthen the hand of united Irish advocates - POLITICO

An advocate of the Brexit demonstrates Oli Scarff / AFP about Getty Images on January 14, 2019 in front of the Houses of Parliament in London

The Prime Minister refused to exclude an extension of the negotiation period under Article 50.


LONDON - Theresa May invited MEPs to take a second look at the Brexit deal she had negotiated with the EU and suggested a referendum on a united Ireland would be likely if they refused.

The UK Prime Minister said in the House of Commons that a no-deal Brexit "strengthens" the hand of those who wanted a "border survey" in Northern Ireland, as well as those who demand Scottish independence. She called no-deal "the real threat to our union."

But to reverse Brexit as a whole, May added, "would be a subversion of our democracy."

It is widely expected that the Prime Minister's deal will be rejected on Tuesday evening by MPs, despite May's attempts to portray the alternatives as "no deal or no Brexit".

Their attempt to win new EU assurances for the backstop proposal to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with an exchange of letters between it and EU Presidents Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, seemed to have failed. Both the conservative Brexiteers and the Democratic Unionist Party, which supports the May administration, said the measures would not go far enough.

May did not go into detail about how a border survey in Northern Ireland might be the result of a no-deal Brexit, but her decision to raise her seems to be geared to receiving support from DUP politicians vehemently against one unit Ireland speak.

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the Northern Irish Secretary of the United Kingdom may decide to vote on reunification "if it seems likely at any time" that a majority of voters in Northern Ireland would vote in favor.

Due to the week-long parliamentary disputes that were likely to meet with a vote against May's agreement, the prime minister refused to exclude an extension of the Article 50 negotiation period when he was pushed by conservative Brexit player Bill Cash. May could only say that it was the "intention" of the government to leave the EU on the scheduled date of March 29.

"Whatever you've done before - look at this deal again in the next 24 hours," May urged MEPs.

"No, it's not perfect, and yes, it's a compromise, but when the history books are written, tomorrow people will look at this House's decision and ask," Have we met with the country's approval to leave the European Union? Economy, our security and our Union, or have we abandoned the British people? "

Opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn responded to the Prime Minister's letter of formal notice. "No more time to play, no more running the clock to scare people into supporting those damn drums of a deal," he said. "I'm sure Honorable Members from all over the House will not be deceived by what's being produced today, it's clear we're voting this week, which is exactly the same agreement we would have voted on in December should."