Senior lawmaker warns prime minister to deliver on Brexit

05 July, 2018, 10:54 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • GETTYSir Graham Brady has warned the Conservative party it must pull together over Brexit

"The danger of disunity at the top is not just that it makes the prime minister's job more hard in negotiations with Brussels, and therefore puts at risk the good Brexit deal that is in reach, but it also gives an impression of division to the country".

A fiery row kicked off after leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg demanded Mrs May "stand firm for what she herself has promised", prior to crunch cabinet discussions on their plan for a future EU-UK relationship.

Details of the new plan have not been revealed publicly but senior ministers will discuss it at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat, on Friday.

The YouGov poll which was reported in the Sunday Mirror found six out of 10 of those questioned said Britain would be worse off outside the single market - which is Labour's position on post-Brexit relations.

Mr Rees-Mogg's intervention prompted a furious backlash from Remain-voting Tories.

The article drew a rebuke from Alan Duncan, a Foreign Office minister, who said he was being insolent.

"The ideological right are a minority despite their noise, and should pipe down", he said.

North Dorset MP Simon Hoare told Mr Rees-Mogg he was "simply wrong in his predictions" in a post, adding: "The hectoring nonsense / blackmail has to stop, the reality of parliamentary arithmetic dawn and the calamity of a Corbyn Government woken up to. I am sure that she will deliver a Brexit that is entirely consistent with the promises she has made".

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Briefing Cabinet ministers ahead of the Chequers talks, Oliver Robbins is said to have painted a bleak picture of the situation, with a source telling The Times they came out of the meeting thinking "we were even more screwed than we were before".

Just days after backbench lawmakers told Prime Minister Theresa May that its "departure must be absolute", Business Secretary Greg Clark refused to rule out indefinitely extending a transition period out of the EU.

"It seems to me that any reasonable person would have to be guided by the facts and the evidence", Clark told Sky News.

May will gather the squabbling ministers at her Chequers country residence on Friday for an "away-day" aimed at agreeing the contents of a "white paper" policy document.

Brexiteer Mr Rees-Mogg, tipped as a potential Tory leader, had used an opinion piece in Monday's Daily Telegraph to warn the Prime Minister she must deliver what she promised - the United Kingdom leaving the single market and customs union and outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice - or risk her administration.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove last week physically ripped up proposals for possible post-Brexit customs arrangements with the European Union favoured by May, according to reports Saturday.

May last month created two Cabinet sub-committees to discuss two options for future trade - a customs partnership in which Britain would apply European Union tariffs to goods that are shipped through the country on their way to the continent, and the use of technology to avoid the need for border checks as goods pass between the European Union and Britain.

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