May’s muddling on Brexit could yet lead to a united Ireland

By John Cooney,  Dateline Dublin, Wednesday November 14

Muddling Theresa May may well have achieved a majority – but not a unanimous decision as it has leaked that 10 cabinet members opposed it.

Under British cabinet rules, dating far back to Sir Robert Walpole’s days, all cabinet members must now support the deal agreed with the European Union.

Prime Minister May is on the slippery slope following the resignations of cabinet ministers, Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey (the Universal Credit Minister) , and a less known Northern Ireland junior minister, Shailesh Vara.

We have just heard that the tide of resignations continues apace –

A fourth ministerial resignation is Suella Braverman.  And now a fifth gone, Anne Marie Trevelyn.

Teresa May on her way to the Commons. .

May faces House of Commons at 10 30 this morning (Thursday). Maybe she will resign and call a General Election?

In Dublin on Wednesday evening, Taoiseach Leo Varadakar, while deploring Brexit, has broadly welcomed the transition deal.

But the Ulster Unionists will abandoning Mrs May and vote against it in the Westminster vote.

I agree with former Labour UK PM, Tony Blair’s description of   Brexit as “a catastrophe”.

And go along with his prediction that if the current Labour leader,  Jeremy Corbyn, would reject the deal.

However, Corbyn would ask for it to put to a referendum.

If so, he would get a resounding REMAIN vote – and British withdrawal would not happen.

Corbyn, however, is basically anti EU and will mess up, alas.

Hopefully, he will listen to wiser voices in the Labour Party. 

Interesting, too, to hear former Tory Minister and Tory grandee, Michael Heseltine, say that a second referendum, though still unlikely, is now possible.

That possibility will grow, I believe, when the English realise that Brexit is an Emperor with no Clothes.

I believe the Scottish National Party will vote against the deal and demand a sweetheart deal that has been offered to Northern Ireland but rejected by the Ulster Unionists.

An EU Summit is likely to be convened before the end of the month – and make this provisional EU – UK deal official policy.

Could Sinn Fein yet steal the limelight by turning up for the Westminster vote – supporting May – but not taking their seats?

That would be a step to the break-up of the United Kingdom and a leap towards a United Ireland.

  • John Cooney is a former European Editor of the Irish Times and is our correspondent in Dublin.

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