European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made it clear to the Theresa May that the EU will not renegotiate her Brexit deal after she pulled a vote in parliament over fears that British MPs would not support it in its current form.
Juncker stressed that there is ‘no room whatsoever’ to make any amendments to the withdrawal agreement, during a recent meeting of MEPs in Strasburg.
No budging on Irish backstop
During the meeting, Juncker went on to say that the EU was willing provide greater clarity over the Irish backstop plan to stop a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic forming post-Brexit.
But the president of the European Commission reiterated that despite its willingness to take steps to keep stability in Ireland, there would be no change to the legally binding text of the deal.
‘The deal we achieved is the best deal possible, it is the only deal possible,’ Juncker said. ‘There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation.’
‘Everyone has to know that reopening the withdrawal agreement will not happen,’ he added. ‘Ireland will never be left alone.’
Opposition leaders grow tired of May
The Labour party was awarded an emergency debate to challenge May’s decision to pull the parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal at the eleventh hour, after its leader Jeremy Corbyn accused her of showing ‘contempt for parliament’ in a joint letter to the prime minister.
The letter was signed by opposition leaders including Scottish National party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts and co-leader of the Greens, Caroline Lucas.
‘You admitted in the House that you are running from a heavy defeat on your deal in the House of Commons,’ the letter said.
‘It cannot be right that the government can unilaterally alter the arrangements, once this House has agreed on a timetable, without the House being given the opportunity to express its will.’