Sputnik: Theresa May has offered a “new” Brexit plan, in an effort to get her unpopular Brexit deal approved. What exactly is different in this updated withdrawal agreement?
David Collins: It doesn’t appear that there is anything substantively different, except a commitment to abide by EU environmental and labour standards in perpetuity, and of course the promise to have a second referendum on something, with unspecified options.
David Collins: No, the Prime Minister appears to have been completely disinterested in making any changes to the backstop arrangement, despite being told many times that this was the main reason that it had been rejected, at least by members of her own party and the DUP.
Sputnik: How can this "new deal" change the situation?
David Collins: It cannot, it was a naked attempt to fool MPs into believing that there had been a change to win over enough voters (primarily from Labour where there has been some indication of a desire for a second referendum coupled with some confusing comments about wanting stronger protections for workers). It has only succeeded in further alienating Conservative voters who supported her the last time. It is now likely that should the vote go ahead it will lose by an even larger number of voters.
Sputnik: What's the point about a second referendum decision?
Sputnik: What's been the MPs' reaction?
David Collins: Almost universally negative from what I can tell. The new proposal is an insult to MPs of all colours because it pretends to be all sorts of different things to keep everyone happy but in fact disappoints everyone. Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith quite rightly described it as a ‘confusing mess’. Ian Duncan Smith called it a ‘buffet of bad options’.
Sputnik: What may happen next?
David Collins: Having realized that they made a profound miscalculation, any reasonable leader, especially one in Theresa May’s position would resign. But Theresa May is either in complete denial of how loathed she is or she is simply so stubborn that she doesn’t care. This is a person who should have resigned one if not two years ago. If she would not resign then, she will not resign now. I suspect that she is planning even more delays, hoping to cling to power for the rest of the year and postpone Brexit again in the name of further pointless negotiations.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.