MORE than half of Tory MPs think there are “alternative solutions” to Theresa May’s contentious Irish backstop, a shock new poll has revealed, as it emerged the vast majority of MPs believe she has done a bad job of negotiating Brexit.
An annual survey of MPs found that 55 percent of Conservative MPs think there are other ways to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and that the difficulties surrounding the border issue have been “exaggerate as a negotiating tactic”. The poll also found 70 percent of MPs believe the Prime Minister has performed poorly in talks with the European Union. Of this total, 47 percent of Tory MPs think she had done a bad job in negotiations – with just 34 percent of her own MPs believing she has handled the divorce talks well.
The findings will come as a huge blow to the Prime Minister’s hopes of getting her Brexit deal through the Commons as the backstop issue remains the most contentious aspect of the divorce terms for many pro-Leave Tories.
The annual survey of MPs, conducted by The UK in a Changing Europe think tank, and the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London, suggested that the House of Commons has become more polarised in the last 12 months.
On the Irish border issue, the research found a majority of the Commons (60 percent) believes there are “genuine difficulties” over avoiding a hard border after Brexit.
- But a majority (55 percent) of Mrs May’s own MPs believe there are other “viable solutions” which would not require her divisive backstop arrangement.