BREXIT LIVE: 'There is NO alternative to Chequers' Defiant May IGNORES Tory rebellion

Posted on Sep 10 2018 - 2:09pm by admin

Theresa May is risking a catastrophic split in her party as it has been confirmed that at least 80 MPs are willing to vote against her controversial Chequers plan.

Mrs May’s former Brexit minister Steve Baker has warned the Prime Minister not to continue with her proposals, which Boris Johnson described as a “suicide vest”.

Mr Baker said Mrs May would “lack credibility” if she pressed ahead with the plans.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Baker said: “When we asked colleagues before we broke up for the summer whether they were willing to protest Chequers in relation to some amendments, there were almost 80 colleagues, something I have put on the record, who are willing to vote in the House of Commons to vote against Chequers.

“That’s why I’ve said on the record that there are those numbers because shouldn’t be under any illusions that the Conservative Party does face a catastrophic split if this plan is pushed through – particularly if it is pushed through with Labour votes.

“About the only thing the Conservative Party has come together around Chequers is that it is unacceptable, unviable and won’t go through.”

Mr Baker was asked if Theresa May was unwilling to “chuck Chequers” whether he would be willing to “chuck Theresa May”.

He replied: “We want to come together and change the policy and support Theresa May as Prime Minister, driving forward to an advanced free trade agreement, and it is essential that is done.

“The alternative really is a tremendous amount of political crisis and rupture and we trying to avoid that.”

There have been rumours of a potential leadership challenge following Boris Johnson’s scathing remarks on the Premier’s Brexit plans.

Mr Johnson claimed it was a suicide vest and Mrs May had given EU negotiator Michel Barnier the “detonator”.

But Mrs May remained defiant and said that critics of the plan had yet to come forward with a credible alternative which would avoid the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Chequers is the only plan on the table which will deliver on the will of the British people while avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland.

“The Prime Minister is working hard to secure a deal and hopes all MPs will be able to support it.”

Justice Secretary David Gauke said “an overwhelming majority within the Conservative Party” backed the Government’s approach.

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3.00pm update: Liam Fox says Brexit NO guarantee of success

While Brexit offered a lot of opportunities it will still have “buffeting pressures in the global economy” and the Government won’t be able to control it, Dr Fox said.

He added: “We have got to be rational and say that everything will not be wonderful because we are leaving the European Union.

“We have to say there are great opportunities that come from Brexit but that is not a guarantee that everything is going to be rosy on the other side.

“Let’s not have an irrational positivity, but look at the opportunities and look in a balanced way at the pluses we can control. We will be subjected to the same global pressures as before.”

2.45pm update: Michel Barnier says it is “realistic” to expect a divorce deal with Britain in six to eight weeks

The British embassy to Slovenia said on Twitter: “I think that if we are realistic we are able to reach an agreement on the first stage of the negotiation, which is the Brexit treaty, within 6 or 8 weeks.

“Taking into account the time necessary for the ratification process, the House of Commons on one side, the European Parliament and the Council on the other side … we must reach an agreement before the beginning of November. I think it is possible.”

2.14pm update: ‘Iraq was more damaging than Brexit!’

Piers Morgan Morgan delivered a brutal dig at Remainer Alastair Campbell, suggesting the war in Iraq launched by his former employer Tony Blair has been “more damaging” to the UK than Brexit ever could.

Piers Morgan slapped down former Labour spin-doctor Alastair Campbell after he suggested Britons had chosen “their own decline” with the decision to back Brexit.

Mr Campbell suggested the “massive” economic implications of leaving the European Union should inspire voters to demand a new vote but Mr Morgan dismantled his argument.

The Good Morning Britain host said: “Your Government, Tony Blair’s Government, defied the will of the people on the war in Iraq, for example.

“You were given multiple warnings by many people it would be a disaster. It was a disaster, it caused mayhem in the Middle East, repercussions which are still unfurling now but it wasn’t the end of the world.”

1.24pm update: Barnier ordered to soften approach to Brexit negotiations to avoid No-Deal

The chief EU negotiator has been ordered to find a solution to Brexit by the 27 EU nations who see his hardline approach to negotiations as self-defeating – a move which will some welcome relief to Theresa May who is suffering savage attacks for her handling of the issue.

The European Union states are preparing to issue a new set of instructions to chief negotiator Barnier ordering a ‘more flexible’ approach to the UK’s terms of Brexit, as fears of a no-deal scenario continue to hang over the Prime Minister’s proposals.

EU chiefs are believed to have issued Mr Barnier with new “conciliatory” instructions to help close a deal with the UK, as uncertainty mounts over a ‘no-deal’ scenario – a situation feared by both sides.

A summit is being planned in Salzburg on September 20 which will include all 27-member states. The focus will be the major sticking points such as the Irish border and the planned timing of any deal agreed.

1.12pm update: Justice Secretary David Gauke has urged the Conservative Party to rally behind Theresa May’s Chequers plan for leaving the EU

Former Brexit minister Steve Baker has warned the party faces a “catastrophic split” if the Prime Minister presses ahead with the proposals.

However Mr Gauke told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “There is an overwhelming majority within the Conservative Party that we respect the referendum result, that we implement it in such a way as to respect the integrity of the United Kingdom and the Good Friday Agreement and ensure that we are in a strong position to grow the economy in the years ahead.

“There isn’t an alternative credible plan out there. I think that it is absolutely right that the Cabinet and the parliamentary party backs the Prime Minister. In challenging circumstances she is the right person to deliver the right deal for this country.”

12.40pm update: General secretary of the TUC says Theresa May should stand DOWN if she cannot deliver Brexit

She told the Prime Minister to stand down if she cannot deliver a Brexit deal that protects jobs and rights, and properly fund public services.

She said: “If you won’t give us the new deal that working people demand Mrs May, stand down and take your do-nothing government with you.

“Give us a general election and we’ll do everything in our power to elect a new prime minister who will.”

12.15pm update: Brexit minister attacks controversial ‘suicide vest’ remarks

On Sunday, Mr Johnson published a newspaper column where he claimed the Prime Minister’s Brexit plans amounted to “wrapping a suicide vest” around the UK.

George Hollingbery, who serves as Minister of State for Trade Policy, claimed that Mr Johnson’s latest column for the Mail on Sunday which attacked the Prime Minister’s Brexit plans had very little factual basis and “no new ideas”.

11.50pm update: Downing Street has said there is NO alternative to Theresa May’s Chequers plan for leaving the EU

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Chequers is the only plan on the table which will deliver on the will of the British people while avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland.

“The Prime Minister is working hard to secure a deal and hopes all MPs will be able to support it.”

Mrs May will chair a special Cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss the preparations in the event of Britain leaving without a deal.

11.00am update: Jacob Rees-Mogg says no-deal Brexit to give UK £80BN bonus

The arch-Brexiteer will tomorrow launch a study showing Britain could get an extra £80billion for tax cuts and public spending by quitting the EU without a deal.

Increased economic growth, achieved by slashing regulation and boosting trade with countries around the world, will deliver the huge Brexit dividend, the report will argue.

Economists for Free Trade, a group of Eurosceptic academics who support a full break with the EU, has estimated that the Treasury could benefit from an extra £80billion in revenue over the next 15 years as a result of a no-deal departure from the EU.

The group’s report, to be unveiled tomorrow, has been backed by the European Research Group of Tory MPs chaired by Mr Rees-Mogg.

10.45pm update: Nicky Morgan says “Chequers VERY welcome”

Nicky Morgan, who campaigned for remain, urged Theresa May to appeal to MPs across the political spectrum to come behind a compromise plan for Brexit

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, she said: “I believe that the vast majority of people in the middle, both in the Conservative parliamentary party and the country at large, want to see an ongoing trading relationship with the EU. That is why Chequers was very welcome.”

10.30am update: Tories at WAR over Boris Johnson as 12 MPs vow to RESIGN

Conservative MPs have vowed to scupper Mr Johnson’s leadership bid.

A senior Tory said 12 or more MPs would refuse to serve under Mr Johnson, which would effectively deprive the Government of a majority.

The MP said: “Boris will never be prime minister – he would split the party.

“There are a large number of us determined to make sure he does not get onto the ballot paper whenever the leadership contest takes place.

“If he did somehow manage to win then there are many of us – well into double figures – who would resign the party whip. He would lose the Government’s majority. He could not govern.”

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