Trust issue in Westminster limits EU's offer to May

Theresa May speaking to Jean-Claude Juncker Image copyright PA

Yes, the prime minister was given a promise from the EU that they will do a trade deal after Brexit as quickly as they possibly can so, in theory, the controversial backstop will never be required.

In political practice, right now, there is no way that alone will calm the fever that has taken hold of so many of the prime minister's MPs - more than a hundred of whom wanted her to quit this week - swathes of whom would never vote for her Brexit compromise as things stand.

The irony - it's the behaviour of those who are demanding more, that held back European leaders from giving more.

There was a sense among European leaders that whatever the prime minister had been granted might be immediately torn up and dismissed by Brexiteers.

It is abundantly clear there is no chance the divorce deal itself will be significantly changed.

This does not mean that over the course of the next few weeks EU leaders won't find a sprinkle of sugar to sweeten the pill.

But there has been no hard evidence today that will emerge. With her leadership under daily attack now, she simply might not have the time to wait.

The cold truth, on a bitter day in Brussels, is that a lack of trust in Westminster is deeply felt, two hundred miles away.

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