Conservative Backbenchers Remind Theresa May of Vulnerability on Brexit

Crunch Cabinet talks to hammer-out Brexit agenda
More than 60 lawmakers demand UK PM May delivers Brexit with full autonomy - BBC
Author

22 February, 2018

A group of more than 60 Conservative MPs have signed a letter setting out their demands for the next phase of talks with the EU.

That the United Kingdom has "full regulatory autonomy" and isn't constrained by European Union rules after-Brexit - which would be a possible outcome if the government successfully pushes for a close relationship with the organisation.

It is also almost double the number needed to trigger a leadership contest.

"We are writing to reassure you of our continued, strong backing for the clear vision of an internationally-engaged, free-trading, global Britain which you laid out", said the letter, before offering "some suggestions" on how to achieve it.

The letter says that Britain "must have the ability to change British laws and rules once we leave, rather than being a "rule taker" without any substantive say in whatever Brussels decides". She was left weakened by last year's disastrous election.

Labour said the letter exposed the "deep divisions" in the Conservatives over Brexit, and accused Mrs May of being "too weak" to confront the Brexit "fanatics" in her own party.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group, met May with some of his colleagues in her 10 Downing Street office on Tuesday to discuss their demands.

Small natural disaster that hit Britain was strongest for 10 years
Twitter users described their surprise as the aftershock was felt over a hundred miles away. EMSC wrote on Twitter: "No damage is reported and if any should remain very limited".

The chair of the treasury select committee, Nicky Morgan, claimed "this isn't a letter, it is a ransom note" and the group must believe it has "the Prime Minister as their hostage".

The lawmakers' letter was dated February 16. She will then set out her detailed plans in a speech likely to come next week, before formal trade talks begin in March.

Sam Lowe, a trade expert at the Centre for European Reform, told the Guardian: "A standstill transition is in everyone's interest and absolutely essential if the government is serious about negotiating a mutually beneficial ongoing relationship between the EU and UK".

More than 60 Conservative MPs have written to Prime Minister Theresa May demanding a quick, clean break from the European Union, adding pressure on her to take a "hard Brexit" stance ahead of a meeting to decide Britain's negotiating position.

Any implementation period, should be based on WTO principles, they added, without any obstruction to the United Kingdom from negotiating or signing other trade agreements. As one would expect of JRM, the letter is punctiliously polite in tone.

The MPs also insist the United Kingdom must be "free to start its own trade negotiations" during the planned two-year transition period.


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