May battles Brexiteer backlash amid disquiet over deal

By Alan McGuinness, political reporter
Brexit-backing MPs have been urged to get behind Theresa May, as she contends with a backlash against her plan for Britain's future relationship with the European Union.
Michael Gove admitted the agreement thrashed out after a marathon day of talks on Friday was not everything he had hoped for, but the environment secretary said he was a "realist" and recognised the need for compromise.Despite talk of potential resignations ahead of the Brexit showdown, Mrs May's cabinet signed up to the proposals, which will now be set out in full in a white paper presented to parliament this coming week.Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly described defending the plans as like "polishing a turd" during the Chequers summit, before eventually falling into line behind the prime minister.While full details of Mrs May's plan have yet to be revealed, backbench Brexiteers are struggling to digest what has been published thus far.

[img]" alt="What is in May's Brexit plan[/img]

What is in May's Brexit plan?
The central idea of the government's new proposal for the future relationship with the European Union after Brexit is a 'free trade area for goods'.

The disquiet has sparked speculation some Conservative MPs could submit formal letters calling for a leadership contest, with 48 being the requisite number.Mr Gove - a key figure in the 2016 Leave campaign - said it was a "perfect balance" between the need for close access to Europe and allowing the services industry to diverge from EU rules and regulations.He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I'm a realist and one of the things about politics is you mustn't, you shouldn't make the perfect the enemy of the good."One of the things about this compromise is that it unites the cabinet."He added: "All those of us who believe that we want to execute a proper Brexit, and one that is the best deal for Britain, have an opportunity now to get behind the prime minister in order to negotiate that deal."Mr Gove said the onus was now on Brussels to be flexible, with Britain stepping up preparations to show it can walk away from the negotiations without a deal if necessary in March 2019.

[img]" alt="Brexiteers rely on EU rejecting PM's 'win'" class="sdc-article-strapline__image">
Brexiteers rely on EU rejecting PM's 'win'
Analysis: In the end there was nowhere to go for the cabinet Brexiteers.

Quizzed about claims his cabinet colleague used colourful language to describe what was on the table at Chequers, Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis told Sky News: "It is very easy to take what can sometimes be seen as a joke in a particular conversation somewhat out of context and make a story out of it."In an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sunday, he added: "The reality is Boris and all of us came to an agreement about a strong package that we think is good for the UK economy (and) delivers what the Brexit vote was about in 2016."A meeting involving the PM and Tory MPs on Monday evening will provide an indication of the strength of feeling in Mrs May's party.
All the indications are that it will be a stormy gathering.Veteran eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash told Sky News: "There are a lot of questions in here, there is a lot of unhappiness, there is a great deal of concern that we are saying that we leave - it's not 'to be or not to be' it's 'to leave or not to leave'."The question is how do you leave and is this going to be a proper Brexit[/img]

May battles Brexiteer backlash amid disquiet over deal

'Lot of unhappiness' about Brexit plan
Sir Bill said he had not penned a letter calling for a leadership contest, but ominously noted: "If people were to decide to put in those letters you only need 48."Fellow backbencher Andrew Bridgen was far more forthright, saying he would not back the deal even "if the EU were paying us"."I can't support the offer which emerged at Chequers - I think it's a breach of the red lines, in fact the offer is so poor that I couldn't support it even if the EU were paying us for it," he said."Obviously if the government and the prime minister continue to support that very poor offer then I won't have any confidence in the government or the prime minister."Mr Brigden said he would "listen to what the prime minister has got to say on Monday evening at the 1922 Committee" before deciding how to act.
May battles Brexiteer backlash amid disquiet over deal

Deal will deliver 'prosperity for our people'
Writing in The Mail on Sunday, he said Jacob Rees-Mogg was now the only credible challenger to Mrs May, after Brexiteer cabinet ministers failed to oppose the PM's plan.Phillip Lee, the MP who resigned from the government over its handling of Brexit, said Mrs May's efforts to find the "least worst" option was not in the best interests of the country.
More from Brexit

What does Boris Johnson think his resignation will achieve?

Britain turns against Theresa May on Brexit, Sky Data poll finds

Brexit crisis: Where does the Cabinet stand on the PM's plans now?

Theresa May's premiership 'hangs by a thread' as Johnson and Davis quit

LIVE: Jeremy Hunt is new foreign secretary

LIVE: Jeremy Hunt is new foreign secretary

"This government by cowardice isn't taking us in a good direction. We are currently pursuing a fragile 'least worst' option," he said."This isn't in the best interests of our people or our country... and it is our people's best interests - your best interests - that need to be at the heart of an intelligent strategy to deliver a better future for us all - in or out of the EU."
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Август 2020    »