The Prime Minister is attempting reopen negotiations with the EU over the Withdrawal Agreement to seek changes to the backstop.
Best for Britain have identified 6 times when the Prime Minister believed the backstop was in the national interest:
1. 10 October 2018, told Irish PM the backstop can’t have a time limit
Helen McEntee told POLITICO: “I think reassuringly from our own meeting with the prime minister yesterday, she again reaffirmed her commitment to an Irish backstop — that it must be within the Withdrawal Agreement; that it must be legally operable; and that it can’t have a time limit,”
2. 15 November 2018, believed WA delivered best deal for the UK “with every fibre of my being” and reneging on the backstop would break a promise to the people of Northern Ireland
Mrs May said that she believed the draft EU withdrawal agreement was the best deal for the whole of the UK with "every fibre of my being."
"There is no deal that can be agreed that does not include a backstop, reneging on that would break a promise to the people of Northern Ireland and collapse hopes of a deal."
3. 15 November 2018, referendum was the only way to deliver on the referendum
“But while some people might pretend otherwise, there is no deal which delivers the Brexit deal the British people voted for which does not involve this insurance policy.”
4. 15 November 2018, ripping up backstop would be “an entirely irresponsible course of action”
"I know there are some who have said I should simply rip-up the UK’s commitment to a backstop.
"But this would have been an entirely irresponsible course of action."
5. 4 December 2018, implied the backstop somehow punished the EU
"First, in that backstop, we will be making no financial obligation to the European Union, we will not be accepting free movement and there will be very light touch level playing field requirements."
6. 14 January 2019, rejecting the backstop would mean no deal and threaten the Union
“And rejecting the backstop altogether means no deal.”
“And to those who think we should reject this deal in favour of no deal, because we cannot get every assurance we want…
“…I ask what would a no deal Brexit do to strengthen the hand of those campaigning for Scottish independence - or indeed those demanding a border poll in Northern Ireland?”
“Surely this is the real threat to our Union.”
Commenting on the u-turn, Best for Britain boss Eloise Todd said:
"The Prime Minister is going round in circles, playing fantasy politics.
"We were told the backstop was the only way to safeguard the national interest, protect the Union and deliver on the referendum. Clearly, this is yet another u-turn.
"There's EU have said time and time again that they won't reopen the Withdrawal Agreement. It's time the Prime Minister stopped bending to the right of her party and the DUP."