Theresa May admitted today that the next seven days are “going to be critical” as she heads to Brussels for further talks with key figures including Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president.
She also said that “as far I know” the number of letters sent to backbench committee chairman Sir Graham Brady had not reached the required 48 in order to trigger a vote of no confidence in her leadership.
Asked in an interview with Sky News if she had thought about giving up, she replied: “No, I haven’t. Of course it’s been a tough week. These negotiations have been difficult from the start.
“But this is not about me, it’s about what’s in the national interest,” she said.
She explained that there were two parts to the deal: the ‘leaving’ deal and the ‘future’ deal that will shape Britain’s relationship with Europe and “is what we are working on’.
Asked about the backstop on the Ireland issue, which her former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab struggled with, she described it as “an insurance policy”, adding: “There’s an assumption that this is the only option on the table – and it’s not.”
She said Britain can choose whether to have that backstop or extend the implementation period.
Ms May was not asked about the Scottish government’s views on Brexit nor the independence debate.
Mrs May defended her draft agreement in an interview with the Sun on Sunday. She said: “There is no alternative plan on the table. There is no different approach that we could agree with the EU.”
She said if MPs rejected the deal which they are expected to vote on next month, they would “simply take us back to square one”.
“It would mean more division, more uncertainty and a failure to deliver on the vote of the British people.”
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