Brexiteers demand Theresa May ask Trump to solve Brexit talks

Theresa May Donald TrumpBritish Prime Minister Theresa May walks with US President Donald Trump after their joint press conference at Chequers, in Buckinghamshire, England, Friday, July 13, 2018.Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP

  • Conservative MPs want Theresa May to use Donald Trump to secure a new Brexit deal.
  • They believe that the US president has leverage over the Irish government.
  • However, both Dublin and Brussels have resisted re-opening talks.
  • May will speak in Northern Ireland on Tuesday before embarking on Thursday for new talks with EU leaders.

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

Conservative MPs, who oppose May's EU exit deal, want the prime minister to approach the president and request that he lobby the Irish government in an attempt to force them to give ground in negotiations.

May's deal was defeated in the UK House of Commons last month after MPs voted by a 230-vote majority against the plans.

Following the defeat, May vowed to seek changes from the EU to the controversial "backstop" element of the deal, which is designed to prevent a hard border with Ireland after Brexit.

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

However senior EU figures have resisted calls to re-open negotiations, in part because of opposition by the Irish government to altering the backstop.

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

The prime minister will speak on Tuesday about the ongoing talks on the backstop when she visits Northern Ireland. She will then meet with parties from across the province on Wednesday, before travelling to Brussels on Thursday for talks with the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

"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," May will say.

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.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney is due to visit Washington DC this week.

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