The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.
Ministers have so far refused to expand on a commitment to release 70 technical notices on “no-deal” contingencies after the Chequers agreement on the next stage in negotiations with Brussels.
In short, Donald Trump had a point when he said that Britain is in turmoil.
May’s Chequers deal forced David Davis’ and Boris Johnson’s resignations. The crisis of the last few weeks in British politics was always going to be unavoidable, but the timing is all the PM’s fault. Which list it is placed on will be decided based on the outcome of the negotiations, it says – leaving open the possibility that in a “no deal” scenario it would be necessary for British people to apply to the French consulate in London for a visa for a holiday in France.
Theresa May was blasted by one of her own MP’s during a highly charged session of Prime Minister’s Questions. The idea that there will be six weeks when MPs can not debate Brexit laws in the Commons is staggering, considering the tight timetable of the Brexit process.
Mr Barnier held face-to-face talks with new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab for the first time and described the meeting as very useful and cordial.
The Prime Minister, who met businesses near the border in Fermanagh on Thursday, will again reject the EU’s “backstop” plan for Northern Ireland and the Republic to adopt the same customs rules if no EU-UK trade deal is reached.
But while the negotiations have rarely looked so in danger of failing, senior EU officials and diplomats do not see any goal in an extension to article 50, the two-year negotiating period set aside for a member withdrawing from the union, unless there is a change in British politics that can offer genuine hope of a better outcome. Prime minister May’s plans to keep a close trading relationship with the European Union on goods thrust her government into crisis this month and there is speculation she could face a leadership challenge after two of her most senior ministers, including Johnson, resigned in protest.
News of the negotiation objective is welcome in the pharmaceutical industry, which has long warned of the need for regulatory continuity in the wake of the United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union.
While the European Union is working to ensure an orderly withdrawal, the Commission makes clear that the UK’s withdrawal will undoubtedly cause disruption – for example in business supply chains – whether or not there is a deal.
The prime minister said a seamless border is “the foundation stone” of the peace agreement that ended decades of violence between Protestants and Catholics as well as between Britain and those wanting to unite Ireland with Northern Ireland.
Voting down a divorce deal so late in the process would trigger a major political crisis in Britain which would then be on course to crash out without any formal Brexit arrangements for trade, immigration and security.