Backstop ‘Non-Negotiable!’

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THE EU is ‘united’ over the negotiated Brexit deal, the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has responded, after the UK’s PM May said she wanted to reopen it. UK MPs voted 317 to 301 in favour of changing the backstop plan – the part of the deal designed to keep the UK in the customs union indefinitely.

Barnier insisted: ‘The EU institutions remain united and we stand by the agreement we have negotiated with the UK.’ Meanwhile, Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the CBI, said: ‘I don’t think there will be a single business this morning which is stopping or halting their no-deal planning as a result of what happened yesterday. ‘The amendment feels like a real throw of the dice.’

The prime minister met with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday afternoon for talks, after MPs backed an indicative amendment rejecting the idea of a no-deal Brexit.

He had previously refused to meet May unless she ruled out a no-deal Brexit herself.

The UK is due to leave the European Union at 23:00 GMT on 29 March, with or without a deal.

May said that, after taking Tuesday’s votes into account and talking to the EU, any revised deal would be brought back to the House of Commons ‘as soon as possible’ for a second ‘meaningful vote’.

Meanwhile, EU leaders are adamant that there will be no revisions to the deal.

European Council President Donald Tusk led the way saying: ‘The backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement, and the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation.’

French President Emmanuel Macron, currently under seige by the Yellow Vests movement, commented that the agreement was ‘not renegotiable’, while Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the backstop arrangement remained ‘necessary’.

Dave Wiltshire the secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance told News Line yesterday: ‘The working class will see to it that the UK leaves the EU without a deal and with our £39bn still in our pockets. ‘Already the bosses are threatening to move industries and banks out of the UK.

‘The only way to deal with this is to expropriate them by nationalising the banks and industries and putting them under workers’ management. ‘The working class will force Brexit through and then continue it with a socialist revolution that I think will spread throughout Europe like wildfire.’