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A H Khan

Published:
2018-11-25 13:14:31 BdST

UK’s May pens open letter to Britons lauding Brexit deal


British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote a “letter to the nation” Sunday vowing to campaign with “heart and soul” for her Brexit deal once EU leaders sign off on it this weekend.

May, who hopes to seal the divorce agreement and outline of future ties
with Europe at a Brussels summit Sunday, faces a daunting challenge winning
the support of Britain’s parliament.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that members of her own cabinet and EU
diplomats are secretly working on “plan B” proposals, fearing lawmakers will
reject the current deal.

But in the letter published in several newspapers, May insisted her
agreement would “honour the result” of the 2016 referendum — when 52 percent
backed Leave — and be “a moment of renewal and reconciliation”.

“It will be a deal that is in our national interest — one that works for
our whole country and all of our people, whether you voted ‘Leave’ or
‘Remain’,” May wrote.

“It is a deal for a brighter future, which enables us to seize the
opportunities that lie ahead.”

Reiterating Britain would be leaving the European Union on March 29 next
year, she urged people to get behind the deal.

“Parliament will have the chance to do that in a few weeks’ time when it
has a meaningful vote on the deal,” the prime minister said.

“I will be campaigning with my heart and soul to win that vote and to
deliver this Brexit deal, for the good of our United Kingdom and all of our
people.”

May is struggling even to unite her ruling Conservatives, and Northern
Irish parliamentary allies the Democratic Unionist Party, behind the plan.

Meanwhile, opposition parties including Labour, the Liberal Democrats and
the Scottish Nationalists, have all vowed to vote against it.

According to the Sunday Telegraph report, several senior ministers are now
plotting the parameters of a Norway-style relationship with Brussels.

It said senior EU figures are “war-gaming” how the bloc could extend
Article 50 — the mechanism used to leave the bloc next March — to allow for
various scenarios. Among them is a possible second referendum.

Responding to May’s letter, Labour MP Stephen Doughty said it was
“completely false” to claim the only options were her agreement or no deal.

“By rejecting this deal, parliament can give the public a real choice in a
people’s vote between leaving the EU on these terms or sticking with the deal
we’ve got inside the EU,” he added.

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