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23 Nov, 2018 11:50

Brexit backtrack begins… Raab would rather stay in EU than accept May deal

Brexit backtrack begins… Raab would rather stay in EU than accept May deal

Faced with Theresa May’s EU withdrawal deal, some Brexiteers are beginning to think the EU isn’t so bad after all. Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said that the deal was in fact “worse than staying in EU.”

Raab, who resigned as Brexit secretary last week, told the BBC that May’s deal, which took the best part of two years to be negotiated, would be rejected by Parliament. In that scenario “alternatives” would need to be explored, including remaining in the bloc.

While Raab insisted that “he’s not advocating staying in the EU,” he argued that “if you just presented me terms, this deal or EU membership, because we would effectively be bound by the same rules but without the control or voice over them, yes, I think this would be even worse than that.”

However, Raab is not alone in his preference, according to the Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson.

Raab’s admission could give Remainers hope of either stopping Brexit altogether, or forcing a second referendum on the issue. People’s Vote advocate, Labour MP David Lammy asked: “If MPs are allowed to change their minds, the public must be given the same opportunity.”

Dr Simon Usherwood, deputy director of UK in a Changing World, an independent initiative that looks at the “ever changing relationship” between the UK and EU, told RT that Raab won’t be the last politician to be politically confounded by Brexit.

“We have to recognise that Brexit doesn’t sit easily with anyone’s prior understanding of how public policy can be disrupted,” he said.

On the prospect of Brexiteer MPs calling for the UK to remain in the EU, Dr Usherwood argues that would require “a lot of politicians having to give up the political capital that they have put into leaving,” claiming that would only happen should there be a “general upheaval of the political system.”

Additionally, the UK would risk damaging its reputation should it stop and/or reverse Brexit, as well as creating “economic and social costs” for those who have already prepared to leave.

Former Labour MP George Galloway told RT he agrees with Raab, saying Theresa May's Brexit deal is worse than no-deal and it's even worse than remaining in the EU. He's against a 'people's vote,' preferring a general election to break the inevitable impasse which he says will result from MPs failing to agree a consensus on Brexit.

"The best thing is to hold a general election so that we can have a government which has the confidence of the house of commons and the confidence of the country," Galloway insisted.

May, upon presenting the final UK Withdrawal Agreement to Parliament on Thursday, was roundly attacked by MPs from her own side.

The parliamentary mathematics are not in May’s favor, so far. After a week scrutinizing the deal, the PM looks no closer to getting MPs on board. Parliamentarians will now debate the deal and its details ahead of a vote, expected within the next month.

As well as the expected opposition from Labour, May faces defeat should rebel Tories and her Northern Irish allies, the DUP, follow through with threats of their own and vote against it.

Despite seemingly seeing off a coup attempt from Jacob Rees-Mogg and his Tory faction (the European Research Group), should she fail, May’s leadership would undoubtedly come under threat once again.

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