UK: May's cabinet 'fully behind' Brexit plan

Irving Hamilton
September 26, 2018

London, Sep 25 British Prime Minister Theresa May is to press ahead with her Chequers plan for a soft-Brexit, her advisors said after a meeting of her top ministers at Downing Street.

The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the Cabinet in Downing Street on Monday amid intense pressure to change course and seek a simpler, less ambitious deal.

The document, shared with national delegations at the Salzburg summit last Wednesday, does go into detail.

It comes as Mrs May delivered a warning to her Brexiteer MPs led by Jacob Rees-Mogg that she believes a "no deal" is better for Britain than the Canada plus trade deal they have proposed as an alternative to her Chequers plan.

Reflecting comments made since July by the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and by national leaders who rebuffed May in person last week at a Salzburg summit, the document lays out the bloc's negotiators' thinking on the Chequers plan, which also faces stiff opposition within May's own Conservative Party.

Raab also said a Canada-style trade deal was now "off the table" because the EU caveat was a backstop on the Irish border, effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the customs union and breaking up the UK.

Dominic Raab's remarks were a direct response to driving European Union federalist Emmanuel Macron, the French President, who said last week that MPs who have been positive about Brexit and have spoken of benefits are "liars" and that other nations who decide to leave will suffer.

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The Department for Exiting the EU's technical notes warned of a disruption to food supplies and coach firms being unable to operate in the bloc if a deal is not reached.

May's "common rulebook" for goods would give Britain unfair advantage, it says.

'If you want to call it Canada plus, or super Canada or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Canada - that is what is being offered'.

She told her team that her proposals were the only ones "on the table" that protected trade and prevented a hard Irish border.

During the televised address from Downing Street, she gave assurances to EU Nationals living in the United Kingdom and the people of Northern Ireland to protect their rights.

Whatever the outcome, Brexit will have a profound impact on Scotland, Britain and beyond.

An official spokesperson for May said later her cabinet remained fully behind May's Brexit policy, even though it has faced strong criticism from EU member leaders as well as European Council President Donald Tusk.

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