British PM May briefed inner cabinet 'Brexit deal close'

12 October, 2018, 19:14 | Author: Regina Silva
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However Brexiteers - including UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab - are insisting any arrangement which would see the UK effectively remain part of the customs union while negotiations over a free trade deal take place must be strictly time-limited - something the EU has been resisting.

At Westminster, Mrs May told MPs that it was "in the national interest" for MPs from all parties to back the deal she brought back from Brussels.

They fear the arrangement could end up becoming Britain's permanent economic relationship with the EU - despite the fact that government policy is to leave the customs union - as it would limit the UK's ability to strike future trade deals with non-EU economies.

Tory Brexiteers fear that she is about to concede to European Union demands that it must be open-ended, despite previous assurances from ministers it would have to be time-limited.

Trade secretary Liam Fox told friends that her proposal "would make life very hard for me", according to a Mail report, because it would limit the UK's ability to strike new free trade deals outside the EU.

However, Mrs Foster said the EU's proposals would place "an effective one-way turnstile" between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

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Speaking to Northern Ireland journalists at her Downing Street office, May said on Thursday that talks on the Irish backstop were likely to continue until November.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, who was not at the Downing Street meeting, has pointedly refused to endorse the Prime Minister's Chequers blueprint for Brexit.

It would in exchange keep access to the bloc's single market and customs union but no longer have a say in decision-making that would be done by the other 27 states staying in the EU. No 10 made clear if the DUP voted down the Budget, Mrs May would not quit. Many of her cabinet colleagues have assured me of their Unionism.

Sammy Wilson said: "It was a way of reminding the government that while our vote wasn't important last night, it would be important some time in the future and we would have no hesitation withholding it if we thought that was a necessary sanction to impose".

On Wednesday, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said there would have to be checks on goods travelling to Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom, because they would effectively be arriving in the EU's single market if there was no hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and the Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom also said to have "deep concerns".

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