May stands strong with Brexit

Published On January 22, 2019 | By michealthomas | News
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May seen outside 10 Downing St. in London on Monday. (REUTERS/Toby Melville)

Michael Thomas

In the face of adversity Theresa May is still defiant about making Brexit work.

The British Prime Minister’s attempt to soothe some of the Brexit tension on Monday by giving a speech about why her plans fell short according to critics, prompting the leader of Britain’s Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn to liken the Brexit process to “Groundhog Day”.

In her speech to Parliament, the embattled May made it clear that she is not about to revoke article 50, which gives any EU member the right to quit unilaterally and outlines the procedure for doing so. 

“Mr. Speaker I believe this would go against the referendum result. And I do not believe that is a course of action that we should take or which this house should support,” May said.

May also talked about her stand on immigration, assuring EU citizens in England who are unsure of their immigration status that they will be allowed to stay.

“A number of members have made powerful representations about the anxieties facing EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU who are waiting to have their status confirmed,” she said.

“We have already committed to ensuring that EU citizens in the UK will be able to stay and to continue to access in country benefits and services on broadly the same terms as now. In both the deal and a no deal scenario.”

She promised to drop the 65-pound ($117 CDN) fee for EU nationals seeking to remain in the UK after Brexit.

 “Having listened to concerns from members and organizations like the 3 million group I can confirm today that when we roll out the scheme in full on the 30th of March the government will waive the application fee,” she said.

“So there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay and anyone who has or will apply during the pilot phase will have their fee reimbursed and more details about how this will work will be made available in June.”

Earlier on Monday, May’s Plan B was sternly ruled out by European leaders just hours before she stood up to speak to MPs.

Dublin said no to Downing Street’s latest bid to go back to Brussels and ask for concessions on the backstop, which is a position of last resort to maintain an open border on the island of Ireland in the event that the UK leaves the EU without securing a deal.

The vice-president of the European Parliament also flatly rejected two other ideas that were offered as ways of defusing Brexit. Germany’s Europe minister Michael Roth urged Britain to have a rethink and stay in the European Union.

May stated that she believes a second referendum will set a bad example for how referendums are handled and play directly into the hands of those who are trying to demolish the United Kingdom.

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