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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.

Cases: 255125

Reported Deaths: 5574
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17257180
Hinds16331322
Harrison13567194
Rankin10804212
Jackson10453184
Lee8864141
Madison8314164
Jones6434112
Forrest6009120
Lauderdale5902186
Lowndes5405116
Lafayette499193
Lamar488565
Washington4803124
Bolivar3997109
Oktibbeha395381
Panola372379
Pontotoc367853
Monroe3558105
Warren354898
Union345960
Marshall344066
Neshoba3396152
Pearl River3301100
Leflore3041107
Lincoln298085
Sunflower286671
Hancock274459
Tate273162
Alcorn265453
Itawamba263759
Pike263778
Scott248046
Yazoo247056
Prentiss246552
Tippah243050
Copiah242749
Coahoma241054
Simpson236467
Leake231765
Grenada219471
Covington214672
Marion213073
Adams207070
Wayne202932
Winston201666
George199839
Attala194259
Newton193444
Tishomingo189361
Chickasaw185044
Jasper172736
Holmes168767
Clay159833
Stone144721
Tallahatchie141934
Clarke139862
Calhoun136521
Smith121424
Yalobusha117834
Walthall112336
Noxubee110822
Greene110429
Montgomery109834
Carroll104821
Lawrence102917
Perry102631
Amite98426
Webster92824
Tunica87321
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85326
Humphreys83124
Benton82023
Kemper77620
Quitman6968
Franklin66715
Choctaw60913
Wilkinson58725
Jefferson54919
Sharkey43117
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 426543

Reported Deaths: 6126
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62752920
Mobile30551554
Madison27303186
Tuscaloosa20835267
Montgomery19192305
Shelby18693114
Baldwin16513183
Lee12603101
Morgan12321113
Etowah11805168
Calhoun11206200
Marshall10236107
Houston8681148
Cullman8094105
Limestone807474
Elmore7923101
DeKalb771597
Lauderdale763183
St. Clair7599120
Talladega6224108
Walker5930174
Jackson583741
Colbert535473
Blount532083
Autauga522755
Coffee446256
Dale399781
Franklin368148
Chilton337865
Russell335910
Covington330168
Escambia321342
Dallas305196
Chambers288669
Clarke283133
Tallapoosa2630107
Pike251329
Marion247350
Lawrence245247
Winston229035
Bibb217047
Geneva203335
Marengo200829
Pickens196931
Hale177442
Barbour173836
Fayette171226
Butler170758
Cherokee160930
Henry155021
Monroe147317
Randolph141535
Washington138326
Clay127045
Crenshaw120244
Cleburne118423
Lamar118419
Macon116835
Lowndes111535
Wilcox103621
Bullock99728
Perry98219
Conecuh95120
Sumter89526
Greene76223
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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