Theresa May once said that 'no deal is better than a bad deal', but did she really mean it? The Prime Minister was asked to clarify those comments in front of MPs this afternoon. May said that while she stuck by what she said at Lancaster House in January 2017, she was actually 'talking in the abstract':
“'I stand by the references I have made in the past, that 'no deal is better than a bad deal', but I happen to think we have a good deal. When I first made that reference, I was talking in the abstract. We now are no longer talking in the abstract. We are talking against the background of a negotiated deal, hard-fought, which I believe is a good deal for the United Kingdom.'
Mr Steerpike is glad that May has finally cleared that up. The Prime Minister didn't stop there though. She was accused by one MP of being guilty of kicking the can down the road when it comes to Brexit, a reasonable accusation one might think. Not so, said May:
“'You said I was kicking the can down the road, I've tried not to kick the can down the road. I've been voting to ensure the can is not kicked any further'
But even if May was struggling to explain why no deal wasn't better than her bad deal, happily some of the MPs grilling the PM were on hand. When discussing the implementation period which would occur if May's deal was voted through, veteran Eurosceptic Bill Cash described the time when the UK would still be following EU law as a 'castrating' period for parliament, saying:
“'We will have laws passed upon us by 27 other member states, without our involvement, taken behind closed doors, without even a transcript. That is not anything less than castrating the United Kingdom parliament'
To which May could only protest that:
'it isn't the case you get a lot of laws passed by the European Union within the period of what would effectively be 12 months.'