Chequers mate: Theresa May ambush routs cabinet Brexiteers


Prime Minister Theresa May touted the benefits of her latest Brexit proposal to create a partial free trade zone between the United Kingdom and the European Union, saying Saturday it is possible EU citizens would receive preferential treatment for employment after Britain leaves the bloc.

Ms May, who faced one of her biggest challenges yet over the issue of Britain's exit from the 27-member economic bloc following a referendum in favour of Brexit two years ago, had warned her ministers that they have "a duty" to reach an agreement on Friday.

But as Monday drew to a close, May was cheered and applauded by many Conservative lawmakers at a private meeting, having earlier spent more than two hours in parliament answering sometimes hostile questions.

Although current "passporting" rights, which allow British financial firms to operate freely in the European Union, would cease, the government says arrangements "that preserve the mutual benefits of integrated markets and protect financial stability" will be put in place.

Not only that, it is now becoming clear that any post-Brexit UK (if there is such a thing now) will find it much harder to strike a deal with the U.S. under these proposals. May hopes it will jumpstart the acrimonious discussions about the terms of Brexit.

Leading Brexiteer David Jones, a former minister at Mr Davis's Department for Exiting the EU, said the proposed deal breached all three of Mrs May's red lines of leaving the single market, customs union and jurisdiction of the ECJ.

On the worldwide markets, sterling slipped by a third of a cent against the dollar to $1.3288 in early trading.

Davis gave a speech urging colleagues to get behind May, while Johnson raised a toast to the prime minister during dinner, people briefed on the encounter said. That will end after Brexit, but what will replace it remains unclear.

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For now, May, who has been written off by critics regularly since losing her Conservative Party's parliamentary majority in an ill-judged election previous year, will be buoyed by the hard-won agreement.

It claims the Prime Minister's Brexit promises appeared to be "a pretence and a charade meant to dupe the electorate" and concludes that "in the interests of our country and the future of the Conservative Party, I feel the time has come for a new leader".

May will unveil a new plan for handling customs with the European Union that she hopes will end months of disagreements within her Conservative Party, cabinet and parliament.

An interim report by the Migration Advisory Committee published in March said restricting migration into Britain would very likely lead to lower output and employment growth and warned that firms were not prepared for a tightening labour market.

May's spokesman said she would fight any attempt to unseat her.

Preparations for a "no deal" Brexit will be stepped up in case Brussels doesn't like the compromise plan.

"What we are proposing is challenging for the European Union, it requires them to think again, to look beyond the positions they have taken so far and agree a new and fair balance of rights and obligations", she said.

Johnson, who served as foreign secretary, was the face of the Brexit campaign.

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"Politicians come and go but the problems they have created for people remain", he tweeted.

Now Johnson and Davis have jumped ship, and more officials might follow.

May has been reluctant to spell out her Brexit vision for fear of angering one faction or another. But it will be welcomed by companies in Britain and around the world.

There would be "a complete end to freedom of movement", the "supremacy of British courts" would be restored, no more "vast sums of money" would be sent to Brussels.

"This is not a betrayal ..."

"This is a further step, an important further step, in our negotiations with the European Union", she said.

"This looks like a sticking plaster rather than the Government's final position".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the influential European Research Group of pro-Brexit Conservative MPs, warned that a common rulebook could make "trade deals nearly impossible" if it meant regulations would have to apply to any goods coming into the UK.

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Fans had descended at Clapham Junction and were clapping and cheering when the man made a decision to climb on top of the bus. "We want people to celebrate.but not at the expense of law-abiding fans and emergency services' resources", he said.

Tories who attended the first briefing organised by Downing Street on the plans said their concerns had been met, and Mrs May will hope that restive Brexiteers also fall in line when they hear more about the proposals which will be set out in a white paper on Thursday.