December 11, 2018
The apprehension that gripped cable on Monday has faded, sparking a modest recovery in the pound on Tuesday as Theresa May embarks on her “dash to Brussels” – a whirlwind tour of European capitals where the prime minister is expected to meet with a bevy of bureaucrats and elected leaders to try and win assurances that – at the very least – the Brexit withdrawal agreement could be modified to include “assurances” that entering into the controversial “Irish backstop” would require approval from Parliament.
But – so far, at least – European leaders are standing firm regarding their insistence that the deal on the table is the ‘best possible deal’ and won’t be open to renegotiation.
According to the Telegraph, Jean-Claude Juncker assured MEPs in Strasbourg that the ‘finalized’ deal currently on the table is “the only deal possible” and ruled out making changes – though he added that there would be room for “further clarifications” and “further interpretations” of the deal (though many believe this wouldn’t be enough to win over EU votes).
BREAKING:@JunckerEU tells @Europarl_EN “withdrawal agreement will not be re-opened.” He said the backstop “necessary for the entire coherence of the agreement and it is necessary for Ireland. Ireland will never be left alone.” #Brexit pic.twitter.com/757qMqqNPS
— Conor McMorrow (@ConorMcMorrow) December 11, 2018
Here’s more from the Telegraph:
MEPs applauded as Mr Juncker said: “There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation, but of course there is room if used intelligently, there is room enough to give further clarifications and further interpretations without opening the Withdrawal Agreement.”
“This will not happen: everyone has to note that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened.”
The offer of “further clarifications” on the backstop issue is…