Raab says May’s deal can be salvaged... if she relents over Irish backstop ‘exit mechanism’
THERE is “still time” to salvage Theresa May’s deal with “modest” changes that would allow it to pass through the Commons, Dominic Raab has said.
Mr Raab distanced himself from calls to “junk” the insurance plan in the Withdrawal Agreement agreed with Brussels in its entirety.
Instead the former Brexit Secretary suggested Mrs May could regain his support by insisting on a new “exit mechanism” from the Irish backstop keeping the country in the EU customs union if no other arrangements are reached to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Mr Raab, who resigned after Mrs May overruled his insistence that a unilateral exit mechanism should be written into the Withdrawal Agreement to allow the UK to extract itself from such an arrangement, suggested the Commons could still vote for the deal if she relented.
He told The Sunday Telegraph: “There is still time to salvage this deal so it can be supported more widely in Parliament and the country.
“First, we need an exit mechanism that allows the UK to withdraw from the backstop. But it could be subject to conditions.
“We can give the Irish government assurances that the technology and mutual operational cooperation would be put in place, before we exited, to guarantee no return to a hard border. “Second, the Political Declaration on the future relationship needs to be based on a free-trade agreement, with additional arrangements to avoid customs frictions – so we’re not shackled to a permanent customs union-single market regime over which we have no say.”