A Praying Prime Minister & a President Sent by God

As the UK faces a big freeze the Prime Minister’s position on Brexit has thawed slightly – although the reception from the EU remains decidedly frosty. On Tuesday MPs were asked to look again at Theresa May’s Brexit Deal which they so forcefully rejected earlier in the month – the biggest government defeat in history, remember that? Well, this time they were asked what they would like to see changed in order to finally move forward, and with less than 60 days to go until the UK is set to leave, moving forward seems like a jolly good idea. The day’s debate and voting resulted in two changes to the PM deal, firstly MPs voted for a non-binding amendment that rejected a no-deal Brexit (although the fact it is non-binding means the government could just ignore it if they wished). But the star of the show was something called the Brady Amendment which stated that MPs would pass the PM’s deal but only if she went back to the EU and negotiated changes to the backstop element of the agreement.

Illustration by Rhiannon Powell

‘What the bloody hell is a backstop!?’ I hear you cry. Well, the PM’s deal contains a transition period which effectively keeps the UK linked, but not a member, of the EU until the end of 2020. The idea, and I stress this is only an idea, is that during this time the UK and EU would singe several agreements setting out their relationship going forward – the custody case after the divorce if you will. The backstop is there to ensure that, in the (likely) case that these negotiations fell apart or did not finish before 2021, no hard border (i.e. customs checks and passport control) would pop up between Northern Ireland (UK) and the Republic of Ireland (EU). This would keep