Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - May: Brexit strategy is based on ‘national interest’



May: Brexit strategy is based on ‘national interest’

May: Brexit strategy is based on ‘national interest’

British Prime Minister Theresa May urged her increasingly mutinous party on Monday to back her strategy over Brexit, insisting a deal with the EU was close even as she once again rejected the bloc’s proposal for the Irish border.

She argued that her strategy for pulling Britain out of the EU was “not about me” but based on the “national interest”.

But opposition from all sides has stepped up at home since a Brussels summit last week failed to make a breakthrough, raising fears Britain could be heading for a deeply damaging “no deal” exit next March.

Talk of a leadership challenge from within her Conservative party reached fever pitch at the weekend, with one newspaper quoting an unnamed MP saying May was entering “the killing zone”.

Brussels and London still disagree on how to keep open the land border between British Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland – and May emphasised she will not compromise on this.

“I’ve been very clear that this must be achieved without creating any kind of border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK,” she wrote in The Sun.

“Doing so would undermine our precious Union and put at risk the hard-won peace” in the province, which was plagued by three decades of violence in which 3,500 people died.

The EU wants to keep Northern Ireland aligned with its customs rules and regulations until a wider trade deal can be agreed that removes the need for frontier checks.

London rejects this, offering instead a UK-wide solution – but insists this can only be temporary, something the EU says it cannot agree to.

Eurosceptic Conservatives fear the dispute could force Britain into a never-ending customs union with the EU after Brexit, leaving it unable to conduct its own trade policy.

A plan mooted in Brussels last week to extend the post-transition to resolve the matter only added to their fears.

May held two conference calls with her cabinet ministers over the weekend in a bid to allay their concerns.

But as the Brexit deal nears, the pressure is growing on her critics to put up or shut up.

May’s Northern Irish allies, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), have already raised the stakes by threatening to vote against next week’s budget if the deal results in any special status for the province.

Up to 41 eurosceptic Conservative MP could this week also back an attempt to enshrine the pledge on Northern Ireland into law, according to their group, StandUp4Brexit.

An amendment to an existing bill would make it impossible to implement “any trade or regulatory barriers” between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain without agreement by the province’s assembly.

The assembly has not sat since January 2017 and the DUP could likely block any such approval.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42