THE British government has stepped up efforts to sell its European Union (EU) withdrawal deal to politicians and the public as Parliament prepares to vote this Tuesday.
Prime Minister Theresa May continued to host face-to-face meetings with Members of Parliament from her ruling Conservative Party this week as many remain sceptical of her Brexit deal.
The Conservative Party’s position in Parliament is wafer thin and the government relies on ten MPs from the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to pass legislation.
The vote continues to loom as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party would not support her deal in Parliament.
Corbyn and other party figures added they would seek to bring about a general election if the deal is voted down and would not rule out a second EU referendum.
May also faced the prospect that the Scottish National Party (SNP) would also vote against her. The Prime Minister hosted Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Downing Street in an attempt to win her over last Monday.
May’s position further jeopardised by hard-line Brexiteer MPs from within the Tory fold threatening to sink the deal on the grounds it leaves Britain tied too closely to the EU.
Meanwhile DUP members jumped on comments made by May’s top Brexit negotiator Oliver Robbins that suggested Britain may not be able to withdraw from the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’ arrangement.
The mechanism, which would come into force in the event of stalling trade negotiations after Brexit, is a red line for the DUP. They claim it subjects Northern Ireland to different trade arrangements to the rest of Britain.
In these circumstances May will have to bring everything to bear if she is to get her deal over Tuesday’s crunch hurdle.