Amidst turmoil in her party, and reports that 48 letters have now been submitted to the 1922 committee calling for a vote of confidence, the Prime Minister is today briefing her cabinet that Brexit is “95% done” and that her four-point-plan could unlock further Brexit talks.
Mrs. May has been stuck in a deadlock with the European Union essentially since the Salzburg summit, and no matter how much she speaks positively about her most recent summit, the fact remains that nothing has changed in terms of the UK/EU disagreement on the Northern Ireland border and backstop issue.
So the Prime Minister is pushing her new four-point plan that she believes will unblock further Brexit talks in Brussels. The plan was revealed in a statement to the House of Commons, and one proposal includes the possibility of an extended Brexit "transition" period that goes right up to 2021.
Another point refers to a new backstop solution that would be built on a "commitment to a temporary UK-EU joint customs territory" if no trade deal agreement can be made. This means the backstop solution applies to the whole of the UK rather than just Northern Ireland, meaning that Britain won’t be separated from Ireland…but the United Kingdom also won’t be separated from the EU. So yes, you can be sure that this is another Brexit betrayal.
Mrs. May also says that the government will ensure that full access for Northern Ireland businesses to Great Britain must be guaranteed in the deal, and that the UK must always reserve the right to leave the EU at will, and not be locked into any arrangements. Those final two sound perfectly good, but she’s missing the mark on a simple requirement of Brexit in her earlier points. Brexit must entail the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.
How exactly this new four-point plan will unblock talks, however…I don’t know. It seems like Barnier and he EU have been against all of this from the start, so I’m not sure how the Prime Minister thinks things will change now.