Theresa May forced to ditch 'major' Commons statement after Brexit talks collapse

Posted On: 
5th December 2017

Theresa May has been forced to scrap plans for a major Commons statement on Brexit after yesterday's talks in Brussels ended without a deal.

Theresa May Theresa May was left humiliated by yesterday's events.
PA Images

Parliamentary managers had set aside several hours for the Prime Minister to update MPs on how her negotiations with Jean-Claude Juncker, Michel Barnier and Donald Tusk had gone.

But after the talks broke up after the DUP pulled the plug on a potential agreement on the Irish border, Mrs May had to ditch her plans.

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Instead, she is expected to be locked in talks with senior ministers and DUP bosses in a desperate bid to salvage her Brexit strategy.

A Westminster source told PoliticsHome: "The Government is in a really terrible position. They are clearly in a blind panic. Number 10's public line is that they are consulting people, so why not actually come and consult MPs.

"Everyone was expecting a big statement. They clearly took the DUP for granted and that could be a very big miscalculation indeed."

Instead of grilling the Prime Minister on Brexit, MPs will instead take part in a Labour debate on Universal Credit.

Mrs May yesterday insisted that she remained "confident" that sufficient progress on the Irish border, citizens' rights and the Brexit divorce will have been made by the end of the week to allow negotiations to move on to trade in the New Year.

She said: "We’ve been negotiating hard and a lot of progress has been made and on many of the issues there is a common understanding and it's clear, crucially, that we want to move forward together.

"But on a couple of issues some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation, and those will continue but we will reconvene before the end of the week and I’m also confident that we will conclude this positively."