Theresa May's Brexit plan in turmoil | Ireland

Elias Hubbard
July 17, 2018

But there was a change of mind after Rees-Mogg held talks with the party's chief whip, Julian Smith.

Cabinet minister Greg Clark pleaded with Tory Eurosceptics who have tabled amendments to the Government's customs bill aimed at imposing strict conditions on the Prime Minister after she produced a plan which would keep the United Kingdom closely tied to Brussels' rules on goods and food.

The most controversial of the four amendments scraped through parliament by 305 votes to 302, narrowly avoiding a freakish double-humiliation for the government.

Mrs May faced a potential revolt on the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill, often referred to as the Customs Bill. "I will evaluate those core principles against the Brexit white paper and ensure that I vote in line with those wishes", he wrote.

Tory Brexiteer Bernard Jenkin suggested Mrs May's Chequers plan was "dead".

He said: "It is neither loved by Remainers or Leavers". They fear the changes will make May's plan - which is only a starting point for the next phase of negotiations with the European Union - less acceptable to Brussels.

Theresa May and Business Secretary, Greg Clark (right), arrive at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire.

Disgruntled Brexiteers need to muster 48 MPs' signatures to secure a vote of no confidence, and 159 Tories' votes to oust Mrs May and trigger a summer-long battle for the leadership, with possible candidates including Mr Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and maybe Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The prime minister was accused of "caving in" to Eurosceptic demands.

Treasury Parliamentary Private Secretary Scott Mann handed his resignation earlier today in protest over the so-called Brexit "Chequers Deal".

Rebellion from pro-Europe MPs in her party saw May narrowly avoiding defeat on two of the amendments by just three votes, 303 to 300, with the Prime Minister dependent on pro-Brexit opposition lawmakers to get the changes through.

The prime minister is struggling to win acceptance for her Brexit strategy from both pro-Brexit and pro-EU factions within her party, with persistent rumours that Tory MPs are planning to topple her.

At the weekend former Labour prime minister Tony Blair, a fervent pro-European, repeated his call for a new vote, saying there was no majority in the House of Commons for May's Brexit plan or any other.

Greening, who defeated Labour's Neeraj Patil in Putney in the 2017 mid-term election, described May's plan in an article in The Times as "the worst of both worlds", adding that the final decision should be given back to the people and out of "deadlocked politicians" hands.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chair of the ERG, said Friday the deal "does not respect the referendum result" and recreated "many of the worst aspects of the European Union the British people voted to leave". She now argues a referendum should "give the public a first and second preference vote, allowing a consensus finally to be found".

"What we need is a clear route forward that settles this European Union question once and for all".

Brexit negotiations officially began in June 2017 and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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