Brexiteers are not coming away particularly reassured on the backstop by May’s Commons statement. A number of times May was asked directly to confirm that the backstop would be time-limited. May insisted the backstop would be temporary but refused to give a firm answer on when it would end or how the UK could escape from it. Her answer to Boris is best described as aspirational…
“As I said when we published the temporary customs arrangement proposal back in June, we set that point of the expectation that that would be completed by December 2021. One of the issues as I indicated in my statement that we are discussing with the EU is how we can ensure that we do reflect the temporary nature of the backstop… I continue to believe that what we should all be doing is working to ensure that the backstop never comes into place…”
May’s response to a question on no deal being agreed has also raised a few eyebrows:
“If it were the case that at the end of the negotiation process actually it was a no deal… then actually that would come back to this House and then we would see what position this House would take in the circumstances.”
Is she going to shift her position on no deal too?