Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Brexit rebels or loyalists? 'Treason is nothing but timing'

BRITAIN-EU-BREXIT UK Government publishes White Paper on Brexit
Deanna Wagner | 17 July, 2018, 14:25

The retreat underlined the fragility of Mrs May who is constantly being buffeted by the rival factions on the Tory backbenches and facing renewed doubts over her survival in office.

British Prime Minister Theresa May drew fire from all sides on Monday (Jul 16) over her Brexit strategy as a former minister described it as a "fudge" and called for a second European Union referendum while eurosceptics readied a parliamentary challenge.

But Mrs May insisted the amendments do not change the blueprint agreed at her country residence.

"The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people", she said in an article for The Times.

They and other eurosceptic Conservatives say the plan to keep close trade ties with the European Union - which is only a starting point for a second phase of talks with Brussels - betrays her promise of a clean break with the 27-nation bloc after Brexit.

Under May's plan, the United Kingdom would collect EU tariffs on goods headed for the EU on the bloc's behalf, in order to maintain the frictionless UK-EU border after Brexit.

There is a belief in Conservative circles that a no-confidence vote in May will have to be called by Wednesday this week as there will otherwise not be time to hold it before parliament breaks up for the summer on Tuesday 24 July.

Earlier, a ministerial aide also resigned in protest at what he called a "watered-down Brexit", underlining the pressure on Mrs May from both sides of her party.

Noting the deep divisions in government and parliament on the way forward, Greening said voters must decide - becoming the most senior member of May's Conservative party to back the idea.

Israeli rockets strike military position near Aleppo, Syrian state media says
Previous strikes mostly centered on the southern areas, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but this was much further north. On Sunday night, Israeli warplanes attacked the al-Nayrab air base near the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Greening's decision to denounce the prime minister's Brexit negotiations publicly could bring closet Tory sceptics out of the woodwork.

The PM has spent the last two years trying to compromise. She has a divided party and no majority. There are no easy choices. In a debate about principle, the problem for some is that compromise is a dirty word.

The three Labour MPs who rebelled against their party whip by voting with the government were Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Graham Stringer - all of whom are pro-Brexit.

Former Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins who now sits as an independent also supported the government on one of the amendments.

But Conservative MP Anna Soubry said the prime minister's Chequers plan had now been "wrecked by caving in to the hard, no-deal Brexiteers".

She added: "Things have moved on from that very clear message that Brexit means Brexit, and that is why we are rightfully questioning the legislation, putting forward new clauses and amendments, and saying not just to the Prime Minister but the whole of government reconsider, look again and work with us".

She told BBC Radio 4's Today she would campaign for Remain in any new vote.

A Brexiteer source was quoted saying the move confirmed that "Chequers is dead on arrival" after the government caved in. "They want to complete the withdrawal agreement".