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Not aligned with Rutte would be Spain, France and Germany. At some point in Exit timeline states may gamble on which options are left in May's British coalition.
At a crunch moment states will vote for self-interest.
If May actually came back to Brussels with a Commons vote in her handbag which explicitly said the UK would approve the deal if a precise particular change was made, that would put the EU in a difficult position. For instance, if the "backstop" was time limited, the EU could approve the revised deal even if it meant selling out Ireland.
The EU could argue that a "no deal" scenario would impose a hard border on Ireland anyway, so conceding on that point in exchange for a deal made no material difference. The problem is that May has never come up with a convincing assurance that a particular concession would guarantee UK ratification of the deal, and so the EU has never been put in that difficult position.
What is the point of making concessions when the UK might simply come back looking for more? In the words of Arlene Foster (in relation to Sinn Fein) if you feed a crocodile, they will simply come back looking for more. This is where May's lack of authority, trust, and standing as a leader has undermined the UK negotiating leverage. However that could change if the House of Commons actually approved the deal subject to certain precise conditions.
Does she have the nous to even attempt such a thing? Can the House of Commons now approve the deal under any circumstances?
Index of Frank's Diaries
For instance, if the "backstop" was time limited, the EU could approve the revised deal even if it meant selling out Ireland.
No it couldn't. That's absurd. A time limit on the backstop without any guarantees on final status means either a hard border or a smuggler's paradise. Or, more likely, both.
Remember, there is always the perfectly coherent Final Status outcome (probably the only coherent outcome) of a single customs territory of Ireland. This is entirely achievable, as long as there's a general election before final status.
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
The next general election isn't due until 2022, long after any time limits or transition periods currently being contemplated. So the DUP will continue to have a veto "for the foreseeable future".
Index of Frank's Diaries
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by gmoke - Aug 27