Ex-minister backs new Brexit vote as eurosceptics pressure May

Theresa May
GETTYTheresa May is'running scared as summer recess could start early
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17 July, 2018

However the fourth amendment, demanding that Theresa May drop her plan to collect tariffs on behalf of the European Union unless EU member states agree to do so in reverse, is the real sticking point.

Theresa May who has warned her mutinous MPs that if they do not accept her Brexit White Paper they risk having no Brexit at all, has a working majority of just 13.

The government is preparing to back down on at least three of the wrecking amendments put forward by Brexiter-in-chief Jacob Rees-Mogg last week, in order to avoid an embarrassing defeat in the House of Commons.

May is now facing a possible rebellion from Brexit supporters in her Conservative Party who want her to ditch her plan when lawmakers vote on amendments to legislation on the government's post-Brexit customs regime on Monday.

May denied a suggestion in parliament that her Brexit plan was dead, and her spokesman said the decision to accept those amendments were "consistent" with the white paper policy document ministers agreed earlier this month.

Jubilant Brexiteers believe Brussels will reject the Chequers plan, forcing Mrs May to think again.

The controversial plans, which detail "a common rule book" covering a new UK-EU free trade area, were presented by Mrs May as a hopeful compromise approach in Brexit talks.

Eurosceptic MPs had targeted her government's customs legislation to try to toughen up her plans to leave the European Union, but instead of facing them down and fuelling tensions, her spokesman said the government would accept their four amendments.

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But within minutes of the narrow victory, May was rocked by a fresh resignation, this time of her defence minister Guto Bebb, who voted with Labour to oppose the Government.

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 E.U.in the first place.

Mann's resignation comes after senior politicians including Boris Johnson and David Davis resigned over May's Brexit plan revealed at Chequers.

Business minister Greg Clark urged party members to get behind the prime minister's plan: "When it comes to parliament I hope and expect that it will be persuasive that what is on offer will be good for the United Kingdom, it would be good for every part of the United Kingdom".

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.

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. Sources at Best for Britain, which is campaigning for a second referendum, yesterday suggested ten Tory MPs could follow Miss Greening's example.

Eurosceptic Conservatives are planning to vote against the government on several amendments to the trade bill.

Bebb, who campaigned to stay in the European Union, has been scathing in recent weeks about Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt after they tried to play down business worries about Brexit.


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