UK PM May says her Chequers plan on Brexit is not dead

by Abel Hampton July 18, 2018, 0:43
UK PM May says her Chequers plan on Brexit is not dead

Fresh from her pyrrhic victory yesterday, the Prime Minister is to go head-to-head with Remainers over another Brexit bill - this time on trade - and her decision to start MPs' summer holiday on Thursday this week, instead of Tuesday next week.

Pro-EU Labour MP Chuka Umunna hit out at Labour Brexiteers who opposed the customs union amendment, saying: 'It's very disappointing and our communities will question why Labour MPs are jeopardising jobs'.

The prime minister avoided all-out Tory civil war and the wrath of the Eurosceptic wing of the party less than 24 hours after she capitulated to concessions that they believed had killed off her Chequers plan.

The government narrowly won votes on the bill despite a rebellion by pro-EU Tories angry at the changes.

Former Education Secretary Justine Greening, also a Conservative, said the U.K. Parliament was "gridlocked" over the divisive issue.

Justine Greening, an ex-Education Secretary who quit the government in January, said May's negotiating strategy would neither please those who wanted a clean break with the European Union nor those who opposed Brexit altogether. The government, which does not have a Commons majority, has been under pressure from MPs on both sides of the Brexit debate.

Tuesday was also the second day running May faced revolt from backbench Tory lawmakers, after they failed on Monday by three votes to enact changes to a crucial post-Brexit customs bill.

The BBC reports that defence minister Guto Bebb "resigned so he could vote against the government", adding yet another minister to the growing list of resignations.

That, in turn, will prove the PM with a clear sense of how many MPs would be willing to vote against a final Brexit agreement this Autumn - so it's a big deal. Unless the Article 50 period is extended-which requires the consent of European Union member states-the United Kingdom will leave the European Union next March.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, a leading supporter of the People's Vote campaign for a second referendum, said Brexit had "sunk further into the Westminster quagmire".

Another Conservative Party legislator, Anna Soubry, who opposes the "hard" Brexit that would see Britain leave the European Union without a trade deal in place, said the government's acceptance of the four amendments mean that Rees-Mogg is now effectively "running Britain".

Tomorrow is shaping up to be "super Wednesday" for Theresa May as she attempts to shore up her position ahead of the parliamentary summer break.

Eurosceptics will have a chance to show their strength in the House of Commons late Monday by voting on amendments to a bill setting up a new customs regime after Brexit, which would effectively wreck May's plan.

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the European Union, direct from Business Insider's political reporters.


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