May issues fresh plea to Conservative MPs to unite over Brexit

May issues fresh plea to Conservative MPs to unite over Brexit

London, Feb 17 (IANS) British Prime Minister Theresa May has issued a fresh plea to Conservative MPs to unite and deliver on Brexit, urging the ruling party to “move beyond what divides us” and sacrifice “personal preferences”.

May, in a letter to all 317 Conservative MPs on Saturday night after her Brexit plans suffered another humiliating Commons defeat on February 14, said the result was “disappointing” but vowed the government would continue its work to secure changes to the Irish border backstop, the Guardian reported on Sunday.

The Prime Minister announced that she will return to Brussels for further talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker next week and revealed plans to speak to the leaders of every European Union (EU) member state over the coming days.

In an appeal for unity, 41 days before Britain’s scheduled departure, May said: “History will judge us all for the parts we have played in this process. I believe that a country with our innate strengths, enviable resources, and enormous talent can face the future with confidence that our best days lie ahead. But we stand now at a crucial moment.

“But I believe that a failure to make the compromises necessary to reach and take through Parliament a withdrawal agreement which delivers on the result of the referendum will let down the people who sent us to represent them and risk the bright future that they all deserve.”

The Prime Minister is trying to secure changes to the Irish backstop, an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Brexit, the BBC reported.

The plan is widely disliked by members of her party, who fear it will mean that the UK will stay closely aligned to the EU for years to come, without Britain being able to end the agreement unilaterally.

But EU leaders have repeatedly said the withdrawal agreement is closed.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is also due to meet the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier to discuss the controversial policy on Monday.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who has warned the backstop indefinitely commits the UK to EU customs rules if Brexit trade talks break down, will set out what changes would be needed to remove it in a speech on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, campaigners for another referendum on Brexit have said there will be a major protest the weekend before Britain’s scheduled departure date on March 29.

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