Theresa May is once again staring at a humiliating Parliamentary defeat as MP’s return to the House tomorrow.
Nigel Dodds, the Deputy Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, confirmed that the “fundamental problems” with the deal “appear not to have changed”.
However, in what will be welcome news for the Prime Minister he says that the responsibility for this lies “primarily with the EU”: “EU spokespersons have gone out of their way to reiterate that there will be no renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement. True to form the Dublin government has quickly shut down any possibility of a breakthrough by its now familiar tactic of a fast and flat rejection of any form of compromise.”
He called on the UK Government to “stand firm” and struck a note of caution at the end of his statement: “The EU has shown in the past that it will move but only if faced with a resolute red line on the part of the UK government. The coming days will show if this government is made of the right stuff.”
Meanwhile, Tory Brexiteers have confirmed they are standing firm. Jacob Rees-Mogg said that Tory Brexiteers have “not gone soft” during the Christmas break: “During the recess I read reports that I could be open to supporting the Withdrawal Agreement and that I was even ‘a work in progress’.It was at this time that it was reported that MPs when outside the Westminster bubble could be persuaded to back the deal. This never seemed likely and in my own case was wishful thinking, the backstop on its own is an intolerable failure of the negotiations.”