The offer falls short of what May wants, potentially making it harder to get the deal approved in the U.K. Parliament, where she faces opposition on all sides. However, the document is expected to be vaguely worded, and with as much positive language as possible to help her sell it at home. Hardline Brexit-backers in her party might find it easier to vote for the EU’s offer instead of the tighter ties sought by May, since they have been pushing for a regular free-trade deal all along.
The risk is that because the EU’s plan doesn’t include frictionless trade across the EU-U.K. border, it will focus more attention on the most controversial part of the divorce deal -- how to keep the Irish border open. It will make it even more important that the so-called Irish backstop is acceptable to the U.K. government and its Northern Irish allies.
If the DUP were still controlled by Ian Paisley the mere suggestion that the Irish border be moved to the Irish Sea rather than between the six counties and the Republic would be a complete non- starter. As it stands, it’s an open question to what extent Arlene Foster is willing to bend on the Unionist ideal of a progressively sharper focus on the united part of United Kingdom.Click HERE to subscribe to Fuller Treacy Money Back to top