With just under three months until the UK leaves the European Union, Theresa May is yet to get approval from parliament to go ahead with the current deal on offer. According to a survey, the majority of the Conservative Party oppose the deal.
The survey was carried out by YouGov, and was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This was part of the Party Members Project, which is a three year study looking at the largest political parties in the UK. It found that 59% of the 1215 MP’s surveyed were against the deal; just 38% supported it.
The reason for this: it “doesn’t support the 2016 referendum result” – over half of those surveyed believed the deal didn’t respect the wishes of the public, or what was voted for in the referendum. When asked how they would vote in a second referendum, which there has been some calls for, only 29% said they would back the deal. 64% said they would choose a no-deal scenario.
Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London, who is part of the project, commented: “Grassroots Tories are even less impressed than Tory Members of Parliament (MPs). If some of those MPs can be persuaded to back the Prime Minister’s deal, it won’t be because they’ve come under pressure to do so from their local party members over the Christmas break.”
In light of this, the Prime Minister is hoping that added pressure over the Christmas period could drive support from MP’s. The vote is due to take place in around two weeks; but due to added concerns that the vote will be unsuccessful, Theresa May is looking for further help from other EU leaders on how to move forward.
One of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed is the “Irish backstop”. In order to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, Theresa May hopes to secure a deal with the EU, even if there’s no deal. This is one of the reasons the deal isn’t being supported by MP’s. But, with the risks of no-deal Brexit including disruption to services, supply chains, borders, and medicine and food shortages, it’s hoped that a deal will be reached before the deadline.
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