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Brexit: May says if her deal fails, ‘we may never leave’ EU – Politics live | Politics | The Guardian

So, reaction now, and many people are distinctly unimpressed by her failure to give direct answers to many of the questions posed to her afterwards.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker, who was among those who had asked her what personal responsibility she took for the chaos surround the Brexit talks, tweets:

Peter Walker

I’m biased as mine was one of the questions she failed to answer, but that was a pretty dire Q&A session from Theresa May in Grimsby. Utter refusal to deal with any specific questions.

March 8, 2019

.. and that’s it. May disappears behind a shelving unit of wooden crates.

Is it still possible for the UK to leave the EU on March 29 or is a delay inevitable?

May says that if MPs vote for the deal then the “usual channels” can get together.

Is she going to take No Deal off the table?

It’s the third time she has answered the question, says May, who adds that the best thing that MPs could do to end uncertainty is by voting for her deal on Tuesday.

“If MPs don’t vote for that deal then we know we will see ongoing uncertainty,” she adds.

May says her message to the EU also is that now is the moment for both sides to get the deal through and bring the deal back to parliament on Tuesday.

Rob Hutton from Bloomberg tells her that a ship has sailed on a smooth and orderly Brexit. Britain is already in chaos and business leaders are pulling their hair out. Does she owe them an apology?

May says that now is the moment “to get this done” and for parliament to “come together” and back the deal.

“We have a responsibility to deliver to this country the Brexit which people voted for,” says May.

BBC is up next and asks her if she is trying to shift blame away from her and on to the EU.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says her that the UK is three weeks away from Brexit and workers in the room have no idea what is going to happen.

How much responsibility does she take for the chaos?

May is taking questions now from the media. The microphone didn’t pick up the first one to her but the PM says that voting for the deal enables the UK to leave the EU in a “smooth and orderly way”.

May doubles down on her pleas to MPs to support her deal on Tuesday.

The British people have already moved on. They are ready for this to be settled.

“Let’s get it down,” she repeats for at least the second time.

Never leaving the EU would amount to a political failure and do “profound damage” to people’s faith in democracy, says May.

Some of those who had voted in the referendum had voted for the first time ever. Why should they ever vote again if their wishes were not acted on?

The EU might insist on new conditions if a delay to Brexit was put into action, says May.

That might lead to a form of Brexit that does not match up to the Brexit that people had voted for.

It could mean no end to free movement (one of the key parts of the deal she has negotiated), no new trade deals… or even lead to a second referendum.

Here’s the appeal to the EU – “it’s in both of our interests.”
European leaders tell her that time is running out, says May, and her message to them is that now is the moment to act.

The deal “needs just one more push” to address the specific concern of MPs.

“If MPs reject the deal nothing is certain. It would be at a moment of crisis.”

Options would include “going on arguing” with a delay potentially creating more problems.

MPs voted against her deal last week for various reasons, says May, who adds that the backstop policy was the biggest cause of concern for those (on her side of the House of Commons presumably) who voted against.

There were “genuine concerns” that there was no way out of the backstop, she adds, and these have been taken Brussels.

She emphasises the importance of the Belfast Agreement.

If the deal is accepted then businesses would start to invest in a major way again and money that could have been spent on a No deal would be invested elsewhere.

There would be a giant “open for business sign,” says May.

There’s a section on foreign affairs – the UK would continue to wield influence on the world stage through the UN security council an its diplomatic and military resources – and one on workers rights.

Brexit would not be a “race to the bottom” in terms of the latter and the UK would continue to be in a position to safeguard workers rights outside of the EU.

It’s about (yes, you’ve guessed it) “taking back control.”

May says that the Brexit vote was about sending a message that things needed to change and goes on to use Grimsby – where one of the UK’s largest Leave votes was recorded – as an example of that.

May says that the UK is lucky to have London and its thriving economy but it was no good for growth to be concentrated there.

The government has formulated an industrial strategy that would empower towns and cities such as Grimsby.

“That is the opportunity that awaits our country if we agree the Brexit deal. We can build the stronger communities of the future.”

But Brexit does not belong to the MPs in parliament, says May, “it belongs to the whole country.”

Next comes a fairly contentious claim: Everyone wants to get “it” done, “past the bitter debates and out of the EU as a successful country.”