May defies calls for second referendum & waits on Europe

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By Robert Hackwill
May defies calls for second referendum & waits on Europe
Copyright  Reuters

British Prime Minister Theresa May came home from the Brussels summit with the words of former prime minister Tony Blair ringing in her ears. Blair says he's convinced there will be a second referendum as the only way out of the political impasse.

May has spent the weekend insisting Brussels has the time to come up with something on the divisive issue of Northern Ireland.

"It is very clear that the EU understand what the problem is. And it's a question now, without unpicking the whole of the withdrawal agreement, can we find a mechanism of operating the backstop in a way that actually removes those anxieties? And that's something, it will happen over Christmas, it's not going to happen this week, it's not going to be quick, it will happen some time in the New Year," said Trade Minister Liam Fox.

A vote in the UK parliament is now expected in the second week of January, and May will need every hour between now and then to win over the many doubters.