1112 GMT May 23, 2019
The Independent revealed on Saturday that parliamentarians from all sides had decided to form a cross-party alliance to derail Theresa May’s Brexit plans after her humiliating encounter with European Union leaders at the EU summit in Brussels.
At the two-day EU summit in Brussels, on Thursday and Friday, the British Prime Minister had presented a blueprint of her Brexit plan regarding citizens’ rights.
She said EU nationals could stay in the UK after Brexit, providing British expats were given the same assurance.
The offer, however, met with overall outcry bearing in mind the fact that there are 3.5 million EU citizens in the UK and only 1.2 million Britons in the EU, the offer would mean EU citizens would have to leave the UK.
EU leaders said they were underwhelmed by the inadequate offer.
In response to May’s offer, European Council President Donald Tusk said the offer was vague and way below their expectations.
“If we compare – it is just the first impression – but if we compare the current level of citizens’ rights to what we have heard from the British prime minister, it is obvious this is about reducing the citizens’ rights of the EU nationals in the UK... My first impression is that the UK’s offer is below our expectations and it risks worsening the situation of citizens,” he said.
Other EU leaders made similar disparaging remarks about the offer and asked the British premier not to waste other members' time.
The UK and the EU have a “long way to go” for a Brexit agreement, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“We need to take care of our own future as an EU27,” said Merkel, adding, “This work should take precedence over Brexit negotiations”.
Reactions at home
The Independent said that following May’s humiliating visit to Brussel, MPs from all parties who share the view that the Prime Minister’s plans put Britain on the road to disaster, are planning an alliance to defeat the PM’s plans for a hard Brexit.
One MP said opposing May would convince Brussels that the UK Parliament can “coordinate” to present a different, more EU-friendly policy to that of the Government".
“We are talking to each other and will continue to talk to each other – this is something that transcends normal party political considerations,” Pro-EU Tory Anna Soubry told The Independent.
“It would really show how power has shifted if Parliament can coordinate itself – and that’s not impossible,” the MP said.