Theresa May has played down hopes of changing Britain’s draft withdrawal deal in a move that will concern Brexiteer cabinet ministers demanding it be re-written.
The Independent reports “the prime minister announced that she would visit European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this week for further talks, but said the focus would be on the future relationship.”
Meanwhile Theresa May has told Sky News that as far as she knows, there are not enough letters from Conservatives MPs to force a no-confidence vote. She dismissed the relevance of talk about her future, adding: “What this is about is not us – it’s about people out there.”
Mrs May reiterated that the much-discussed backstop plan contained within the deal did not mean the UK could be locked into an arrangement that was not in Britain’s interest.
When Sophy Ridge asked: “Is the backstop like the ‘Hotel California’, you can never leave?”, Mrs May said: “You can leave.” She compared the backstop to taking out an insurance policy, saying people wouldn’t want the insurance company to be able to “pull the plug” and leave someone unprotected.
It is a “backstop we never intend to use”, she said, adding: “Were it to have to be used, both sides can review it”.
Earlier, Jeremy Corbyn told Sky News a second EU referendum was an “option for the future, but not an option for today”. Quizzed by Sky’s Sophy Ridge, Labour’s leader said he didn’t know what question would feature in a referendum.
Asked how he would vote today if he could, he said: “I don’t know.”
Mr Corbyn also admitted he had not read all of Theresa May’s Brexit agreement, saying “I’ve read a lot of it”.
He added that he had read many of the summaries and analyses.
Mr Raab, meanwhile, told the Sunday Times the UK should not allow itself to be “bullied”, and must be prepared to walk away from negotiations if necessary.
He said if a deal could not be closed “on reasonable terms we need to be very honest with the country that we will not be bribed and blackmailed or bullied, and we will walk away”. He also warned against looking “like we’re afraid of our own shadow”.