Brexiteers demand Theresa May ask Trump to solve Brexit talks

Amilcar Orfali/Getty ImagesUS President Donald Trump talks to British Prime Minister Theresa May.
  • Conservative MPs want UK Prime Minister Theresa May to use US President Donald Trump to secure a new Brexit deal.
  • They think the US president has leverage over the Irish government.
  • However, both Dublin and Brussels have resisted calls to reopen talks.
  • May will speak in Northern Ireland on Tuesday before embarking on Thursday for talks with European Union leaders.

LONDON – Theresa May has been told to enlist Donald Trump in a bid to save her troubled Brexit talks.

Conservative MPs, who oppose the prime minister’s European Union exit deal, want her to approach the US president and request that he lobby the Irish government to give ground in negotiations, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

May’s deal was defeated in the UK House of Commons last month when MPs rejected it by a 230-vote margin.

Following the defeat, May vowed to seek changes from the EU to the deal’s controversial “backstop” element, designed to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Brexit.

She also appointed a group of senior Conservative backbenchers to examine proposals to replace the backstop.

But senior EU figures have resisted calls to reopen negotiations, in part because of the Irish government’s opposition to altering the backstop.

As a result, Brexit-supporting MPs in May’s Conservative Party have demanded she ask Trump to intervene in a bid to break the impasse, Sky News reported.

The prime minister will speak on Tuesday in Northern Ireland about the ongoing talks on the backstop. She’s set to meet with parties from across the country on Wednesday before travelling to Brussels on Thursday for talks with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

She is expected to say: “I know this is a concerning time for many people here in Northern Ireland. But we will find a way to deliver Brexit that honours our commitments to Northern Ireland.”

The demand comes amid concerns that the new US Congress would side with Dublin against any changes that would put at risk the Good Friday Agreement, which was negotiated between the UK and Ireland with the help of the US.

Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, is due to visit Washington, DC, this week.

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