Brace for Brexit crash, EU warns, as Raab brings vigour and vim

Marco Green
July 20, 2018

The trip was Raab's first since he took on the role last week following the resignation of his predecessor David Davis over disagreements with Prime Minister Theresa May's plans for post-Brexit trade, the BBC reported.

After narrowly escaping defeat in parliament over her plans for leaving the EU, May signalled she would not drop a proposal on Britain's future relationship with bloc - the biggest shift in its foreign and trade policy for nearly half a century.

His speech comes as veteran Conservatives say the party is more divided than ever, and there is speculation she could face a leadership challenge, eight months before the country is due to leave the bloc.

Brexit supporters complain that the plan means swathes of the British economy would still be subject to rules set in Brussels. The document proposes keeping Britain and the European Union in a free market for goods, with a more distant relationship for services.

At a session of parliament, May stood firm after being challenged by one pro-Brexit lawmaker in her party to explain when she had chose to change her catchphrase from "Brexit means Brexit", to "Brexit means Remain".

"I hope that the Conservative Party and I can look forward to your continued support at what I appreciate is a very hard time".

On Wednesday, the Irish government said it had stepped up preparations for Britain's departure, including what it called the "unlikely case of a "no deal" Brexit".

Raab is leading negotiations for the British side since Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quit last week over May's Brexit blueprint, which would keep Britain economically close to the EU.

Speaking to MPs before setting off for Brussels, Raab said he hoped Barnier would "fully support" the proposals for post-Brexit trade with the European Union in the government's White Paper.

While the danger of a leadership challenge remains PM Theresa May has ridden out the resignation of two cabinet ministers including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and seen off a threatened parliamentary defeat by pro-Europeans
Boris Johnson accuses PM May of 'dithering' on Brexit in resignation speech

Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab, appointed to the government last week after his predecessor quit over Prime Minister Theresa May's proposals to stay close to European Union trading rules, said Britain was ramping up preparations for a "no deal" but focussed above all on selling her ideas to European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Conservative lawmakers fear an election, and the possible victory of veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

Johnson said the Lancaster House approach had been welcomed by commentators and the financial markets, but that "we never actually turned that position into a negotiation. instead we dithered, and we burned through our negotiating capital".

The win is the second for May in two days, as her government avoided defeat in Parliament on a separate bill.

One Conservative lawmaker told Reuters the party whips, whose job it is to enforce discipline in parliament, had threatened to call a confidence vote in May if she lost - a move that could bring down the government.

The pair will be backed by senior officials from the Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU), who will be able to fill in the captains of industry on the latest round of talks with Brussels, which finished today (Thursday 19 July) with Raab meeting his EU counterpart Michel Barnier.

Mr Johnson was speaking in the House of Commons after resigning last week over Theresa May's proposals on leaving the European Union.

Mr Johnson said it had been a "privilege to collaborate" with Mrs May but said her Brexit strategy had descended into a "fog of self-doubt".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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