Theresa May stands firm, defends Brexit draft

British Prime Minister Theresa May stands her ground and calls for lawmakers to unite behind the draft Brexit agreement.

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 9:48 AM
Updated: Nov 16, 2018 9:48 AM

UK Prime Minister Theresa May seems to be the only person in Westminster who understands the Brexit reality: a deal doesn't exist that satisfies everyone in the UK and everyone in Brussels.

She's got a deal, she thinks it's the best deal, and she doesn't seem bothered that very few people agree with her.

Despite hearing MP after MP tell her in the House of Commons on Thursday that they were ready to vote against her proposed deal with Brussels and losing a number of government ministers, the Prime Minister said in a news conference that she is still taking the deal to Parliament.

Some would call it brave; others would call it lunacy. But May is going to face down her most vocal critics in the most public, damning way imaginable.

Briefly, back to the deal. The sticking point -- what happens on the island of Ireland -- seems to come down to essentially one question: is it more important for the UK to have an independent trading policy or to have a hard border between the Republic of Ireland, which will remain in the EU, and Northern Ireland, which will remain a part of the UK? Everything else -- laws, borders, even money -- hangs on this question being answered.

For the record, it's worth pointing out that a hard border is something the EU and the Republic of Ireland absolutely will not tolerate.

And it's pretty clear now that having both is not possible.

May's deal with the EU, her supporters would tell you, gets as close to both options as is ever going to be possible. Still, it's not enough for large sections of the UK parliament, who will have a say on the deal when May has it signed off in Brussels.

From Scottish nationalists to Northern Irish unionists to countryside Brexiteers, this is a deal that doesn't address their foremost concerns. These concerns vary from shaking the shackles of EU law and regulation to maintaining access to the EU's single market. Some even want to chuck the whole thing and rejoin the EU.

So why on earth would the Prime Minister take the vote to the Commons knowing there's a real chance she could lose? Why is she not changing course and going back to Brussels to try for more concessions?

May has a habit of hanging on and proving us all wrong. Ever since she lost her majority in Parliament in last year's election, her leadership has been in constant question. But on she goes.

It could be brinksmanship. It could be confidence. It could even be a direct challenge to her own party: back me or push me.

All day, we have heard rumors of her MPs submitting letters of no confidence in her leadership, a process that could lead to a vote that could dislodge her as Prime Minister.

Or not. There is still the very real possibility that she could win such a vote and strengthen her position among her own MPs. But even at that point, the arithmetic of Parliament would remain something of a mystery.

And it's a mystery that needs solving very soon. Businesses, investors, employers and diplomatic allies want clarity.

And until that mystery is solved, the real costs will stack up. The pound will continue to be volatile, jobs will continue to be put at risk and economists will continue to tear their hair out.

But this isn't about economics; it's about the mayhem in a country whose politics have barely functioned in 2018.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 94°
Columbus
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 95°
Oxford
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather