Harlow MP optimistic Theresa May can get backstop concessions from EU


HARLOW MP Robert Halfon believes the EU will agree to amendments to the Northern Ireland backstop, as Prime Minister Theresa May attempts to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement in the wake of its conclusive defeat in Parliament.

This is despite the fact that leading figures in the EU have insisted that no renegotiation is possible.

Mr Halfon said: “It’s true that the big cheeses like the commissioners have indicated that there can be no changes, but actually the real people who decide are the member states. Germany and Poland have both made positive noises.”

And Mr Halfon indicated he would probably vote in favour of an amended deal if and when one comes to Parliament.

Mr Halfon said: “I said to the Prime Minister last week that I will probably vote for the deal if she makes some changes, because I just want this stuff done and dusted.”

The Harlow MP believes he has an idea of what the changes to the backstop may be.

He said: “I think they may add a codicil which will say either there’ll be an end date to the backstop or there’ll be some kind of choice that Britain will be able to leave after a certain amount of time.”

Despite his apparent confidence that the situation can be resolved, Mr Halfon ultimately acknowledged that there are still a multitude of possible outcomes to the Brexit conundrum.

He said: “It’s just impossible to know what’s going to happen.”

Robert Halfon talks to Harlow College journalism students

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Andrew Impey

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