Jeremy Hunt: Brexit Deal Can Still Get Through Parliament


Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign Secretary, has said that the Brexit deal of Prime Minister Theresa May can get through parliament if the European Union clarifies that the so-called Northern Irish backstop will only be temporary.

The backstop is an insurance policy to prevent the return of border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland. It has been a principal sticking point in securing the Brexit divorce deal.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister pulled a vote on the deal after admitting that the parliament would reject it. She is set to try again in mid-January to get it past the MPs.

In an interview with the BBC, Hunt stated: “If it is temporary, then parliament can live with that.”

He added: “We can get this (the deal) through, absolutely can.”

The Bexit deal was pulled due to deep divisions in parliament, both among the Conservatives and other parties. Some support the deal of PM May, but many MPs have rejected it publicly.

Last month, during the interview of Hunt in the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, he said that the possibility of getting the deal through parliament was “looking challenging.” He added that it was possible that the government could collapse if it did not happen.

PM May has since endured a confidence vote among her MPs after delaying the so-called meaningful vote, as well as keeping away the attempts by Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, to urge for a cross party vote.

The positive tone of Hunt comes after that of the remarks of Guenther Oettinger, the European Commissioner who is responsible for the budgets of the European Union, that were released yesterday.

Oettinger informed Funke Media Group that it was “not entirely unlikely” that the MPs would vote the deal through in January.

He stated: “There is certainly no majority for a disorderly Brexit or for a new referendum.”

Before Christmas, Corbyn insisted that he would try and secure a better deal with the European Union should the Labour Party take power. However, he refused to rule out a second Brexit referendum.

Corbyn stated: “My proposal at this moment is that we go forward, trying to get a customs union with the EU, in which we would be able to be proper trading partners.”