The Chequers plan is the only way to get a Brexit deal that meets the government’s objectives, according to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman.
MPs are due to vote on the proposal later, but Brexit will dominate debate in the Commons until then following the referral of the Vote Leave campaign to the police over a breach of spending limits during the referendum campaign.
Despite this week´s legislative successes, two former British prime ministers spoke out Tuesday about the divisive impact of Brexit.
May now faces rebellion from the pro-EU flank of her Conservative party, who are outraged by her caving in to these harder Brexiteer demands.
The amendment from Conservative MP Philip Lee, who resigned from the government in protest over Brexit, requires the government to seek continued United Kingdom participation in the EU medicines regulations involving the European Medicines Agency.
He bemoaned the European Union for being a “slow and not very effective” negotiator of free trade agreements, as he claimed the United Kingdom has distinct advantages “over and above our economic weight” – including the English language, law and the internet.
Prime Minister Theresa May faces potentially highly damaging attacks from both sides in parliament this week over plans for Britain’s future trading relationship with the European Union after Brexit.
In two votes in the United Kingdom parliament this week, the latest on Tuesday night, May only just avoided defeat at the hands of pro-EU members of her party.
Her recent white paper outlining plans for a common rule book with the European Union over trade in goods has infuriated those who favour a complete break even if it risks causing an economic shock.
The votes in parliament’s lower House of Commons come as Britain’s new Brexit minister Dominic Raab heads to Brussels this week for his first talks with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
Treasury Parliamentary Private Secretary Scott Mann has handed his resignation in protest over the so-called “Chequers Deal”.
Junior Defense Minister Guto Bebb, who’d supported May’s initial plan, objected to the new plan and also resigned.
Despite the government’s victory, Labour’s Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner said the knife-edge vote showed the Prime Minister was “in office, but not in power”. It has been signed by 11 Tory MPs including former leader Iain Duncan Smith, former cabinet minister Priti Patel and Rees-Mogg.
May vows to stick to her plan to negotiate the closest possible commercial links – “a common rule book” for goods – with the bloc, saying this is the only way to balance political and economic priorities for Brexit, the most momentous shift in British foreign and trade policy for decades.