The Prime Minister’s new Plan, announced at the Conservative Party Conference on Wednesday, in an effort to break to the deadlock between the UK and The European Union over Brexit, has been positively received by the more hardline Brexit section of his own party (The European Research Group) and by the government’s allies in the Democratic Unionist Party.
However it has been criticised by the main opposition parties in the UK with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn labelling the proposal as “reckless” attacking Rights and Protections in the Economy.
In addition the Irish government say that they and the EU won’t agree to Customs checks on the island of Ireland . The Irish Government have objections to the Northern Ireland parliament, Stormont, haveing the power to decide on whether or not Northern Ireland stays in EU single market with a vote on the issue every four years.
The current government plan seeks to do away with the Backstop mechanism, which contributed greatly to the Withdrawal Agreement, negotiated by previous PM Theresa May, being defeated on three occasions in The House of Commons earlier this year.
The new proposal would see Northern Ireland leave The EU customs union with the remainder of the UK but stay in the European Single Market and have regulatory alignment with the the rest of Ireland and the EU regarding agricultural and manufactured goods subject to the Stormont parliament in Belfast agreeing to retain Northern Ireland in the Single Market with a vote every four years.
Due to disagreements between the main political parties, Stormont has not met for over two years.
So what do the people in Stoke think? One construction worker when asked if the ordinary person in Britain understood what was going on with Brexit said
“I think it’s got too complex and I don’t think anyone understands it” when asked if there should be another referendum he said “I don’t think there should be another referendum. We should go out. 17 million people voted for it”.
A Lady working in a local restaurant when asked for her opinion on Brexit said: “They keep postponing it too often. What will be will be. We can’t change it now.
“I don’t think they should vote again. We’ve already voted Leave and they should get it over and done with”.
Another shop assistant said that Brexit would be a good thing. He said ” We’ll get on WTO rules and make our own deals with other countries, get rid of tariffs, bring down the price of food , the price of clothes.
“It won’t damage the economy, it won’t damage jobs at the end of the day. The economy will be a lot better off. Everything will be a lot cheaper. The cost of living will come down”.
With the Brexit deadline of October 31st fast approaching, it’s difficult to see how an agreement can be reached between the UK and the EU but anything is possible in this long running political saga. The mood in Stoke is that Brexit fatigue has well and truly set in and the quicker its over the better.