Brexiteers have hit out at the Government’s approach to negotiations
Downing Street descended into chaos over Mr Hammond’s call for a “modest” break from the EU in a speech made to business chiefs at Davos Switzerland.
Brexiteers, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, have hit out at the Government’s approach to negotiations and in a speech last night the MP for North East Somerset said Mr Hammond’s approach to Brexit was like treating is as “managed decline”.
He said: “The British people did not vote for that. They didn’t vote for management of decline.
“If we are timid and cowering and terrified of the future, then our children will judge us in the balance and find us wanting.”
“They voted for hope and opportunity and politicians must now deliver it. For too long our negotiators seemed to have been cowed by the EU.
“Their approach seems to be that we must accept what the EU will allow us to do and build from there. This is no way to negotiate and it is no way for this country to behave.”
In a speech to the World Economic Forum Mr Hammond said: “We are taking two completely interconnected and aligned economies with high levels of trade and selectively moving them, hopefully very modestly apart.”
Last night Eurosceptics revealed Conservative Brexiteers plan to challenge Government legislation for the first time.
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They plan to amend the “Customs Bill” in which a cause they believe gives the Privy Council the power to take the UK into the Customs Union again without Parliamentary approval.
Staunch Brexiteer and Conservative MP for Stone Bill Cash said: “There is a real uncertainty about where this process is going. We understood the Lancaster House speech, it was clear and crisp.
“We are now in an echo chamber where we hear what the EU are saying and what they want from us.
“We shouldn’t be subservient to them and or doing things on their terms but increasingly it seems as though we are being manoeuvred into that position.”
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Former Minister Andrew Percy said: “Oh put a sock in it Phil.
“Getting a bit sick of ‘freelancing Phil’ mocking other Cabinet Minister and writing his own Brexit policy. Brexit means nothing if we don’t end free movement rules and take the power to diverge if we judge it in our interests.”
It is also reported that party chiefs tried to halt a key speech tomorrow from David Davis about remaining under EU law during a post-Brexit transition.
Tory Whips are said to be worried that the speech would spark another row with Brexiteers after Mr Davis circulated a draft which was designed to deliver “home truths” to MPs.
Mr Hammond said the UK should keep a close relationship with the EU post-Brexit
A Whitehall source said: “the main thrust of the speech was to tell the Brexit lot ‘it’s going to be s**t, but you have to suck it up’.”
Insiders said Downing Street ordered the speech to be watered down to ease tensions.
Mr Davis will use the speech to insist the UK will be able to negotiate deals as soon as it leaves despite having to still follow many EU rules.
It comes as the Prime Minister initially backed the Chancellor’s call for the UK to shadow Brussels rules after Brexit.
Mr Davis will use the speech to insist the UK will be able to negotiate deals
At a briefing for journalists, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman refused to slap down Mr Hammond and insisted the Government’s position “has not changed”.
The Chancellor was forced to send a tweet saying he does not want a “change” in the relationship with the EU when Britain exits the bloc in 2019.
A Downing Street source claimed the Chancellor had rowed back and called it a “welcome clarification”.