Theresa May bows to pro-Brexit pressure to survive parliamentary scare

Wednesday, 18 Jul, 2018

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.

May has vowed to stick to her plan to negotiate the closest possible trade ties with the European Union, saying her strategy was the only one that could meet the government's aims for Brexit, the biggest shift in Britain's foreign and trade policy for decades.

It has also been rejected by some in the pro-EU faction in her party, with former minister Justine Greening calling on Monday for a second Brexit referendum to end the stalemate in parliament over the best future relationship with the bloc.

Johnson, warned Monday that the Brexit "dream is dying" and Britain is "headed for the status of colony" with May's plan to stay close to the EU.

This morning, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox insisted that the compromise agreement which was abandoned by David Davis and Boris Johnson was not dead.

On July 12, the government published its long-anticipated White Paper on the UK's post-Brexit relations with the EU.

It was yet another resignation by a Government minister in a little over a week over the Prime Minister's Chequers plan and the Brexit white paper.

Soubry described the government's decision to accept the amendments, put forward by European Research Group of Conservative MPs, as complete madness. The House of Commons defeated the measure by a mere six votes, 307-301.

This panic move, like the earlier one to cave in to the hardline Brexiteers, might buy the Prime Minister some time in the short term on Brexit and her battle for survival.

The BBC reports that defence minister Guto Bebb "resigned so he could vote against the government", adding yet another minister to the growing list of resignations.

"The only way forward is put this issue to the public and have a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal".

Mrs May went down to defeat on a separate amendment to her flagship Trade Bill, which will require her to seek continued United Kingdom participation in the EU's system for regulation of medicines after Brexit.

They are seeking to change the wording of the Trade Bill, which gives the government the power to set up new worldwide trade relationships after Britain leaves the European Union in March.

But pro-European Tories have accused Mrs May of "caving in" to the party's Eurosceptic wing after the government agreed to their demands to change the wording of the Customs Bill, which is one of the key pieces of Brexit legislation.

The ex-foreign secretary used a Monday Daily Telegraph column to ominously say: "I will resist - for now - the temptation to bang on about Brexit".