Arlene: We’re sorry for RHI
DESPERATE Theresa May today goes over the heads of MPs to appeal directly to the nation to back her Brexit deal.
We must come together as one and get on with Brexit, says PM
Titanic springs to mind. Now is time to point out iceberg – Boris
As things stand, the PM knows she faces defeat when the deal comes before the Commons next month as enemies on all sides gang up on her.
So she’s written an open letter to the British people imploring voters to put pressure on wavering MPs to back her.
She hopes it might just give her the numbers she needs to get her Brexit through and reunite a warring nation.
She wrote: “We will then begin a new chapter in our national life. I want that to be a moment of renewal and reconciliation for our whole country.
“It must put aside the labels of ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ for good and we come together again as one people. To do that we need to get on with Brexit now by getting behind this deal.”
Mrs May is to launch a new website today to sell her deal. She will tour the country, and blitz social media in what Whitehall dubbed “the air war”.
The PM is set to get backing today from all 27 EU states at the special summit in Brussels. EU Council president Donald Tusk urged leaders to support the plan, telling them: “No-one has reasons to be happy. But we were all looking for a good and fair agreement.
“And I believe we have finally found the best possible compromise.”
He even quoted Freddie Mercury on the 27th anniversary of the singer’s death, tweeting: “Friends will be friends – right till the end”, saying it should be the summit motto.
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez tried to throw a last minute spanner in the works over Gibraltar’s future. But pressure from other EU leaders, including Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, persuaded him to not carry out a summit boycott.
In a classic face-saving fudge, Mr Sanchez said the UK had provided “sufficient guarantees to reach a solution to a conflict that has lasted more than 300 years”. In fact, all the UK has promised is that a future EU-UK trade treaty would not automatically apply to Gibraltar. That will be rubber-stamped by other leaders.
Mrs May said Gibraltar was “covered by the whole withdrawal agreement” and its sovereignty “will not change”. Britain is adamant its 30,000 citizens will stay British as long as they want.
EU leaders were furious with Sanchez for trying to mess up today’s summit. They accused him of trying to win votes for regional elections in Andalusia, next to Gibraltar.
The summit will approve two documents – a withdrawal agreement set in stone and a political declaration on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
Jeremy Corbyn branded this “26 pages of waffle” containing only vague aspirations and accused Mrs May of a “blindfold Brexit”.
But in a bid to placate MPs, No10 sources said although the declaration
wording cannot be changed “clarifications” may be added.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson pitched up in Belfast at the DUP’s annual conference to rubbish Mrs May’s plans.
He told leader Arlene Foster and delegates the Irish border backstop should be “junked” and said Mrs May’s Brexit deal will turn Northern Ireland into an EU “economic semi-colony”.
The 10 DUP MPs say they will not back Mrs May at next month’s vote unless she scraps proposals that could align Northern Ireland with
EU rules after Brexit. The
DUP says that would effectively carve Northern Ireland off from the UK.
But Mr Johnson did urge unionists to honour their Westminster deal propping up the Tories. He warned the alternative would be a Labour government led by Mr Corbyn “whose avowed policy is to break up this country.”
Mr Johnson said under current plans Northern Ireland would have to accept EU rules from “lawnmower noise, the labelling of sardines, to the use of recreational watercraft.”
He added: “Nowhere has a more illustrious history than Northern Ireland when it comes to the creation of recreational watercraft. The Titanic springs to mind, and now is the time to point out the iceberg ahead.”
Mrs May’s appeal to the nation will be her most personal yet. No10 spin doctors aim to bury her Maybot image from last year’s election. In the letter, she says: “From my first day in the job, I knew I had a clear mission before me – a duty to honour the result of the referendum.
“Throughout the long and complex negotiations I have never lost sight of that duty.”
SUPPORT For Mrs May from President Juncker
EAR WE GOBoris with DUP’s Foster
RED LETTER DAY PM has written to the people begging for support