British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted yesterday that she will not recant on her Brexit plan and neither will be intimidated by the European Union (EU) during the final stage of negotiations in the coming weeks. May again ruled out a new referendum in an article yesterday in the Sunday Telegraph despite increasing public pressure, arguing that the people had voted in 2016 and their decision must be respected, adding that “raising the question again would be a total betrayal of our democracy and a betrayal of trust.” Opinion polls say that the pro-EU vote would win if a new ballot was held and several groups in various parties are making a very strong campaign to take the country to the polls again.
The plan presented by May in Brussels, which proposes aligning some parts of the economy with European legislation, is a compromise that neither appeals to the pro-EU nor anti-EU sectors of the country and has the support of only 12% of the population.
London and Brussels have promised to reach an agreement before the European Council on October 18 so that the UK and the other member states have time to debate and ratify the treaty. In the British case, Parliament will have the final say. “The next months will be decisive in defining the shape of the future of our country,” said May.
With departure from the EU March 29 next year there is a transition period until 2020 which would disappear should no agreement be reached. The Minister for Brexit, Dominic Raab recently said that 80% of the agreement is closed although the remaining 20% to be decided cover the most contentious issues.