Deal or no deal is the EU question
As Theresa May battles on to broker a Brexit deal, we canvass opinion on who is really backing the terms our prime minister is putting on the negotiation table...
Brexit has dominated this week as Prime Minister Theresa May fights to secure her deal which could spell out the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU.
The Withdrawal agreement has been agreed by all 27 EU leaders, but has not yet been approved by MPs.
The 599 page deal lays out the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU, but has been widely criticised, and many MPs, both those in the leave and remain camps, have said they will not back the deal.
Parliament is currently debating the deal and a final vote is expected to take on Tuesday.
If accepted, it will become the formal deal for the UK’s exit from the EU, covering, among other things, the transition period, financial settlement to be paid and citizens’ rights.
But if MPs reject the deal, the future becomes uncertain. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned that there would not be a chance to negotiate another deal, and said that while it was not his place to tell MPs how to vote, “this is the best deal possible...this is the only deal possible”.
Mrs May has faced stark opposition, and it is unclear whether she would remain Prime Minister if her deal is rejected. On Tuesday, her government was forced to publish the full legal advice given to Mrs May by the Attorney General after MPs ruled the government was in contempt of Parliament for failing to do so.
The DUP, which forms a vital part of her government, have said they will drop their support for her if the deal is passed, and members of Mrs May’s own party, including ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, have dismissed the deal.
The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. If a deal is not accepted by MPs before this date, there is a chance the UK could leave the EU with no deal in place.
We asked your MPs, and some local business owners, whether they were planning to back the deal.
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh:
“I will not be backing this dodgy deal.
“What was promised to people in the referendum can’t be delivered, and the Prime Minister’s deal shows that. The withdrawal agreement is just the divorce settlement.
“What it shows us is all the details all still have to be negotiated and far from being quick and painless, Brexit and its negotiations are set to dominate UK politics for the next five to 10 years.
“There is no deal that we’ve got that’s as good as the one we’ve got at the moment. People were told it would be quick, small and painless and those promises were lies.
“Far from a bright future, the forecasts released this week showed growth and income shrinking compared to if we were to remain.
“I think there’s a growing consensus among people in Wakefield that the final decision should be handed back to the British people. They are the ones who instructed the government to do this.”
Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns:
“It is hugely important for the 60 per cent of Morley and Outwood and the 66 percent of people in Wakefield constituency that politicians deliver on the promise of Brexit – to be free of the inference of the EU and its institutions.
“Labour want to keep us in the EU and the Prime Minister wants to keep us half in, half out. Both of these options are unacceptable.
“The Prime Minister’s deal keeps us too closely tied to the European Union and does not deliver on the vote at the referendum. It will cost every family in our region £1,400 and we will get nothing in return.
“I don’t think this is a good deal and I think the UK deserves better. I will not be supporting any deal which does not deliver on the promises made to the British people and because of these reasons I cannot support this deal.
Antonios Costa Demetriou, Chapter 7 Cafe:
“I’m originally from Cyprus, I’ve been in this country for 40 years.
“Personally I didn’t want to leave the EU, so I voted against coming out.
“I’m hoping that next week we’ll have another referendum and most people will see sense and stay.
“That’s my opinion. I think Theresa May is doing the best job that she can, still I’d happily vote again to stay.
“Brexit is creating a lot of misery really, businesswise. This year is the worst year we’ve had for business and I blame Brexit for that.
“I think also that it’ll take years to come back as a country on its own. So really we’re in for a long term suffering.”
Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett:
“We’ve got to have Brexit, because that’s what the people voted for, and the people are the bosses in a democracy. But I don’t think this deal is going to work.
“To use the Yorkshire expression, this deal is neither nowt nor summat; it doesn’t deliver Brexit, and it doesn’t deliver remain either.
“We want a proper negotiation. We want a guarantee of jobs, and security for the future, and we haven’t got it, especially in the North of England.
“There are a quarter of a million children in poverty in Yorkshire. This deal does nothing to help those kids and their families.
“I want to see a proper deal that gives the north the chance to rebuild again after years of falling behind the South, and especially central London.”
Normanton, Castleford and Pontefract MP Yvette Cooper:
“I think Theresa May has made a real mess of this and she’s lost support from all sides. She wants us to vote on a wish list rather than a proper plan.
“It’s a bad deal for Yorkshire manufacturing because we could end up with loads of checks and delays at the border. And it’s a bad deal for policing and security as they haven’t put in place the security arrangements we need to keep us safe.”
“I’ve been contacted by people who voted to leave and people who voted to remain who are all against this fudged deal. We can’t sign up for this deal if we don’t know where it is heading. That’s why I will be voting against.”
E Nielson, The Cathedral Cafe:
“As a foreigner myself, I don’t know how Brexit is going to affect me. From a personal perspective, I haven’t read into it because if I did, it would worry me.
“I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as they want people to think. As much as I don’t agree with Theresa May’s policies and the deals, I honestly think she’s doing a great job picking up the pieces, making a deal that she might not really want to do.
“I have to admire her for it, I feel sorry for her. If it were up to me I’d 100 percent remain.
“As an English taxpayer, I am concerned that my money is going to a prime minister who is putting most of the time and money into meetings and negotiations that are getting the country nowhere, when my money could be funding the NHS, teachers or the police.”
Dela Ian, Conservatory Cafe:
“Unfortunately I am not happy with how Brexit is going. Since we heard about what would be happening a year ago, the price of everything has increased. Veg and meat have especially gone up in price and a lot of stuff in the shops. If we come out, the price of everything will keep increasing. I don’t think anyone is happy with he way it’s going.
“Brexit has really affected everything. If we do come out of the EU, I don’t think it will be good for anyone.
“If it were up to me I would stay in.”