London: Britain faces “more division and more uncertainty” if a draft Brexit deal falls through, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday as she sought to win over sceptical Britons ahead of an EU summit this weekend.
In a call-in show on BBC radio, May also refused to say whether or not she would resign if the British parliament eventually voted down the divorce agreement and outline on future ties.
“This isn’t about me ... I am focused on ensuring we get this deal,” she said, adding that she would be touring Britain to explain the agreement “to people up and down the country”.
“If this deal does not go through we are back at square one. What we end up with is more division and more uncertainty,” she said.
May, who voted to stay in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, also dismissed calls for a second vote with an option to keep Britain in the EU, but then refused to say whether her deal was preferable to remaining in the bloc.
Instead, she said Britain could build a “better future” for itself outside the European Union.
She repeated her position on British sovereignty over Gibraltar — a contentious issue with Spain that in recent days has threatened to upend the EU summit on Sunday.
“We’re very clear, as the UK, that when we negotiate on these matters ... we do so on behalf of the whole UK family including Gibraltar,” she said.
May’s spokeswoman told reporters earlier on Friday: “We’ve negotiated very openly and constructively with the EU in matters relating to Gibraltar and worked closely with Spain.
“The withdrawal agreement isn’t being reopened. We will work with the government of Gibraltar and Spain on our future relationship,” she said.
May is due to travel to Brussels on Saturday for last-minute talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ahead of the summit.
Black Friday shop offers ‘worst deal ever’
Campaigners demanding a second Brexit referendum launched a Black Friday pop-up shop offering the “worst deal ever” with mock items highlighting the potential cost of leaving the EU.
The “Costupper” shop in Peckham, a hipster quarter of south London, was set up by the People’s Vote campaign, which wants another referendum with the option of staying in the European Union.
Instead of slashed Black Friday prices, shoppers were lured in with signs like: “Welcome to your local inconvenience store” and “Huge reductions on disposable income”.
Once past the dying flowers in a bucket and Brexit Bill — a man dancing about outside dressed as a £50 billion wad of banknotes — shoppers could browse over the few rotting bits of fruit.
All the items in the shop were real — but with new labels such as “Brexit shampoo — takes the shine off your day”, Brexit fudge and “Brexit tampons — ultra expensive. Period.”
Several shelves were deliberately empty, including the pharmacy section, highlighting concerns about the need to stockpile imported medicine.
A Bank of Brexit cash machine told users that their balance was down £448 a year due to Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the EU.
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday dismissed calls for a second Brexit referendum.
Britain and the EU have agreed on the outlines of post-Brexit ties as part of a draft deal due to be signed off by EU leaders on Sunday.
However, the agreement faces heavy opposition in the British parliament, with hard-core Brexiteers and EU supporters alike unhappy with the agreement’s compromises.
“It’s a joke on Black Friday but there’s a serious point: in this shop are some of the worst deals you could hope to find,” said Richard Brooks, co-founder of For Our Future’s Sake, a student-led anti-Brexit movement that forms part of the People’s Vote campaign.
“However bad these deals are in this shop, it’s nowhere near as bad as the Brexit deal that’s being delivered,” he told AFP.
“This is the best Brexit deal that we could have got. The problem with Brexit isn’t Theresa May; Theresa May’s problem is Brexit.”
“We’ve got this muddled mess of a deal where we’re paying £50 billion for the privilege of having less power and prosperity.”