Monday, 18 February, 2019

Brexit plan gets business cheers but Tory anger

Theresa May and David Davis Image Mr Davis has left Mrs May to find a new lead negotiator in the Brexit saga
Deanna Wagner | 14 July, 2018, 13:57

One EU premier, who, last month, heard UK Prime Minister Theresa May's address on Brexit during the EU summit in Brussels, said he was shocked by her tone and left thinking the risk of talks collapsing without a deal was now nearly 50-50, according to an official he briefed.

The EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said in NY yesterday that a Brexit deal was 80% complete says the Guardian.

May's office said in statement that the Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment.

The Prime Minister enduring a bruising battle today as the two Cabinet heavyweights resigned over Brexit.

Mr Kinnock said the Chequers proposal was a "step in the right direction because at least the prime minister was accepting that our future lies with Europe".

Boris Johnson warned Monday as he quit as foreign secretary that the Brexit "dream is dying" and Britain is "headed for the status of colony" with its plan to stay close to the EU.

Conservative Eurosceptics have launched a new attempt to change the government's Brexit strategy by targeting a key piece of legislation.

In one of the most tumultuous periods in recent British political history, there have been four major elections in the past four years: the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, the 2015 United Kingdom election, the 2016 Brexit referendum and the snap election called by May last year.

Davis' resignation undermined May's already fragile government, which has lost several ministers in 2017 over sexual misconduct allegations and other scandals.

Ministers won cautious approval for the White Paper from business leaders but are set for a tough fight against eurosceptics in their own party who denounced the plan as "vassalage".

Under her proposal, a treaty would be signed committing the UK to "continued harmonisation" with EU rules - avoiding friction at the UK-EU border, including Northern Ireland.

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All we have asked from the Prime Minister, is that she sticks to what she has promised on repeated occasions, when she declared that "Brexit means Brexit" and pledged to take back control of our money, borders and laws.

But May said talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, EU President Donald Tusk and other EU leaders at the weekend suggested her plan "can ensure that we move the negotiations on".

"Never have so many campaigned for so long and so hard for so little", he told Reuters.

May said she now wanted to advance the Brexit talks, saying she had briefed European Union leaders on her plan in recent days and received a "positive reaction". Steve Baker, a junior Brexit minister, resigned along with Davis.

A precursor to this could be the government losing the vote it has promised parliament on the final exit deal.

However, prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic backbenchers, said he had not submitted a letter of no confidence.

Britain and the European Union hope to reach broad agreement by October so the national parliaments of the remaining countries can ratify a deal before Britain leaves.

Newly appointed Brexit secretary Dominic Raab.

The loss of two senior ministers and the anger among Brexit-supporting backbench lawmakers makes May's position as leader increasingly tenuous.

But as the government finally announces its negotiating stance, which is widely seen as a less radical departure than businesses and pro-EU campaigners had feared, the focus will be on Brexit supporters.