Theresa May faces claims of abandoning Brexit amid Tory ‘war’

20 July, 2018, 04:01 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Brexit continues to mean Brexit’ May presses on with her plan

But by sticking to her plan for a "business-friendly" departure from the EU, May has thrown down the gauntlet to Brexit supporters and pro-EU lawmakers in her party who are at war with each other, and - for some - with the prime minister herself.

In the afternoon, Mrs May will appear before a House of Commons committee to answer questions on her Brexit strategy.

In his resignation letter Mr Johnson said Mrs May's Brexit strategy killed the "dream" of breaking free from the European Union.

Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary last week in protest against Theresa May's Brexit plans, throwing the Cabinet into further chaos and raising the prospect of a leadership challenge against the prime minister.

This comes after resignations from two top ministers over Brexit earlier in July, where first Brexit Secretary David Davis and then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quit, saying May's plans for future relations with the European Union did not live up to their idea of Brexit. "We have time in these negotiations - we have changed tack once and we can change again".

"Actually no, no we're going onto negotiations with them".

Twelve pro-EU Conservative MPs attempted to attach an amendment onto the government's trade bill last night which would have forced the government to join a customs union if it did not manage to secure a free-trade deal with the EU.

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Johnson, to a chorus of "hear, hear" that required the Speaker to issue a warning, said the Northern Ireland border issue had become "so politically charged as to dominate the debate".

May won the knife-edge vote by 307 votes to 301, highlighting the deep division in parliament and within her own party, and raising questions about whether May can have enough MPs to ratify the final Brexit deal.

May's government published a white paper last week with long-awaited proposals for Britain's relations with the European Union after it leaves the bloc next year. "I got into the House of Commons in 1966, we had some pretty hairy moments, but nothing as continued and nothing where the bitterness between the two sides in the government party is as acute as it is today", former Conservative minister Michael Heseltine, who now sits in parliament's upper chamber, told Sky News.

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.

While the House of Commons debates these texts, the European Commission is analyzing the plan for future trade and customs relations it received from the United Kingdom government, the survival of which depends largely on the response from Brussels.

She told members of the committee: "Over August and September we are going to be releasing a number of technical notifications to set out what United Kingdom citizens and businesses need to do in a no deal scenario, so making much more public awareness of the preparations".

'We agreed a £40billion exit fee with no discussion of our future economic relationship.

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