Theresa May faces Commons showdown with Brexit rebels

Aaron Brown
July 17, 2018

Sir Bernard said: "These amendments were only ever about clarifying Government policy, that the United Kingdom will not join a customs union with the EU, nor agree to split Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom for customs purposes, that we are leaving the EU VAT regime, and any customs arrangement with the EU is not one-sided".

However, she has told unhappy lawmakers that they needed to back her or risk there being no Brexit at all.

No 10 concluded that all four amendments were "consistent with the Brexit white paper", a decision that so incensed Tory remainers that they vowed to vote against the amendments in Monday night's Commons debate.

The battle over the amendments is unlikely to be the last that May and her team will have to face.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG), played down suggestions over the weekend they were seeking to topple Mrs May, saying she still had time to change course on her proposals.

It involves removing Mrs May as Prime Minister, replacing her with a Brexiteer and a new election on the promise to leave without a deal - if the European Union refuses to compromise.

Amid rising backbench anger, MPs are set to vote today on a series of Commons amendments meant to wreck her Chequers plan for a "common rule book" covering a new "UK-EU free trade area".

"I suspect the Chequers deal is, in fact, dead", Conservative lawmaker Bernard Jenkin told the BBC.

His resignation follows that of foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis, as dissatisfaction with Theresa May's Brexit deal proposed at Chequers spreads throughout the government.

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"Now we find out she wants Parliament to rise almost a week early so there can't be time for a vote of no confidence".

Greening, a former Education secretary who quit May's government in January, is the highest-profile Conservative to support a second vote, though she was not an advocate of leaving the the first place.

While heat from Remain wing of the party has also been turned up, Greening claimed the PM's Brexit plan, contrary to what the she claims, is not what people voted for.

Meanwhile pro-EU diehards are also dissatisfied with her compromise position unveiled last week, and are plotting their own moves, hoping to make ties much stronger.

The North Cornwall MP had campaigned to leave the European Union before the referendum and in no analogy whatsoever is otherwise notable for being rescued from the sea by a Conservative colleague after he jumped in, too embarrassed to admit that he did not know how to swim.

He told Today: "The amendments are to a Bill that is created to prepare for the world after Brexit, to be able to establish new customs regime that will be necessary".

On Monday, MPs vote on the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill.

"Some people are saying they want to vote in the trade bill to keep us in the customs union".

Another pro-EU lawmaker Dominic Grieve, who has led previous efforts to get the government to soften its Brexit stance, said the party needed to accept compromises "or accept that Brexit can not be implemented and think again about what we are doing".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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