Crunch Brexit vote to proceed, insists UK exit minister

Seen & Heard: Stephen Barclay rejects reports that May is seeking to delay vote

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons at the start of a five-day debate on the European Union Withdrawal Agreement last week. Photograph PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons at the start of a five-day debate on the European Union Withdrawal Agreement last week. Photograph PA Wire


UK Brexit minister Stephen Barclay has insisted that Tuesday’s crunch vote on Theresa May’s compromise Brexit deal would go ahead. This follows media reports that Mrs May might delay the vote in the House of Commons in order to seek further concessions at an EUsummit in Brussels on Thursday

The Sunday Times suggested ministers and aides had convinced the prime minster that she needs to emulate Margaret Thatcher’s budget showdownwith EU bosses in 1984 if she is to have any chance of persuading her own MPS to support her.

However, speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Barclay said that if Theresa May loses the vote, she can still stay on as prime minister. He said the Norway-style deal with the EU would respect the result of the 2016 Brexit campaign. “The vote is going ahead,” he said. “That’s because it is a good deal, it’s the only deal and it’s important we don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

The Sunday Telegraph, meanwhile, suggest Mrs May’s regime was disintergrating ahead of the most important vote in a generation with two members of the UK government resigning and a cabinet member considering their position.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit campaigner who is seen as a possible successor to May, said MPs on all sides were united against the so-called Irish backstop - an insurance policy designed to prevent a hard Border on the island of Ireland - and losing the vote in parliament would give Mrs May a mandate to ask the EU to remove it from the deal. “Nothing is over until it is over,” he told the BBC.

The Telegraph also reported that foreign investors are preparing legal counter-measures to prevent their assets being nationalised in the event of a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn emerging from the current crisis.

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Dun Laoghaire innovation centre

Former Topaz chief executive Emmet O’Neill has emerged as a potential investor in the stalled plan to launch an innovation centre in the old ferry terminal in Dun Laoghaire. The Sunday Business Post reports that O’Neill has written to councillors saying he “watched with interest and displeasure” as the inital plan set out by investor Philip Gannon came unstuck.

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