Sinn Féin ‘won’t break their vow’ by going go to London to rescue Theresa May’s Brexit deal

Britain has got itself into an incredible mess over Brexit as it tries to negotiate a deal with the European Union.

The key difficulty for Prime Minister Theresa May is that British voters were told by Leave campaigners that Europe needed Britain more than Britain need Europe and so the EU would let them leave while maintaining the same benefits as being a member.

Not surprisingly, it hasn’t worked out that way. The EU, while regretting Britain’s departure, is quite prepared to take whatever hit may come its way in terms of trade in order to maintain the integrity of its Single Market and high regulatory standards.

This has left Mrs May in the impossible position of trying to deliver Brexit in a way that protects British jobs and trade, while convincing voters that they are really leaving the European Union.

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The result is a Brexit deal that keeps Britain closely aligned to EU regulations without having any say in them.

The deal seems to satisfy no one and the Eurosceptics in Mrs May’s own Conservative Party are already threatening to vote against it.

The vote looks like being incredibly tight when it goes before the House of Commons, with a few votes likely to swing it either way.

This opens up the opportunity for a minority party to have the deciding say in the most important decision before the British parliament for a generation. It’s prompted some commentators to speculate whether Sinn Féin’s seven MPs might be tempted to abandon their policy of refusing to take up their seats in Parliament and go along save Mrs May’s Brexit deal.

There is a certain logic to it seeing as Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU and the Mrs May’s deal is at least a half-way house that ensures there’ll be no hard border with the Republic.

However, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has stopped such talk in its tracks. She said: “Brexit can’t be stopped in our view. There is no scenario in which Sinn Féin rides in to the rescue and stops all of this from happening.

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“This, folks, is happening. Our efforts have to be very precisely focused on getting the right deal and the right protections for Ireland.”

If Mrs May does get her deal through the British Parliament, it will then have to ratified at a special meeting of the EU. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also said that it will be debated and voted on in the Dáil.

Did you know?

‘The Irish Robin Hood’ - Redmond O’Hanlon is a legendary figure in Ireland. His ancestors had been a powerful family up until the 17th century, when their land was taken during the Catholic uprising and the Cromwellian invasion. So he became a highwayman. Find out more.