May warns Brexit deal impossible without Irish border backstop

British MPs are due to vote on the agreement next Tuesday

May warns Brexit deal impossible without Irish border backstop

The UK Prime Minster Theresa May makes her Brexit statement in Downing Street, 21-09-2018. Image: Jack Taylor/PA Wire/PA Images

The UK Prime Minister has again warned that any deal with the EU must include a backstop solution on the Irish border.

Theresa May was speaking as her officials continue their behind-the-scenes attempts to drum up support for the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

British MPs are due to vote on the agreement next Tuesday.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, Theresa May noted that the alternatives to the agreement are, ‘no deal or no Brexit at all.’

Backstop

She said no agreement is possible without the backstop.

“Any deal, any agreement, any arrangement that we came to with the EU would involve a backstop,” she said.

“People talk about, let’s have a Norway, let’s have a Canada – everything involves a backstop.

“Secondly none of the other arrangements that people put forward fully deliver on the referendum.

“This deal fully delivers on the referendum.”

She also sidestepped questions on whether the Parliamentary vote could be delayed.

Debate

The House of Commons has today begun the third day of debates on the deal ahead of the vote.

The British Chancellor Philip Hammond opened the debate this morning – which is focused on the potential effect of the deal on the UK economy.

Yesterday, he told a Commons committee that the country’s economy would be badly damaged in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

He said the agreement is a compromise that will limit damage to growth - and warned that leaving without a new agreement would put the UK at a big disadvantage.

“We would actually be the only advanced economy in the world trading with the EU on pure WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms,” he said.

“With no facilitating agreements whatsoever.”

Orderly exit

It comes as the EUs chief negotiator warned that the current deal is the only way to achieve an orderly exit.

The UK Labour Party has vowed to table a motion of no confidence in Mrs May if she loses the Parliamentary vote.

The European Court of Justice will on Monday deliver its judgement on whether unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the EU.