Boris undermines May again on customs deal
Boris Johnson has once again undermined Theresa May by backing Jacob Rees-Mogg’s call for a hard brexit deal on twitter.
Reports are starting to emerge that the prime minister has developed a new compromise ‘third way’ customs deal, in an attempt to satisfy her fractious party. It will be debated by the Cabinet this weekend at Chequers, the PM’s country residence.
But Rees-Mogg, the hard right MP for North East Somerset threw down the gauntlet in the pages of the Telegraph, accusing May of threatening to split her party like Robert Peel in the face of the Corn Laws. He added, “This left the Conservatives out of office for 28 years. At least he did so for a policy that works.”
In his latest act of insubordination, Johnson backed the Rees-Mogg on twitter:
It's vital that all MPs are able to air their views on Brexit. Whatever your position, I hope we can all agree that @Jacob_Rees_Mogg is a principled and dedicated MP who wants the best for our country.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 2, 2018
Allies of Rees-Mogg have made it clear that if they believe the final brexit deal makes too many concessions, they are prepared to vote it down. And unlike the vaunted ‘pro-EU’ Tories, Brexiteers have repeatedly proved themselves willing to bring down their own government.
Peter Dowd MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, commenting on the latest splits over Brexit, said:
“As Ministers descend on Chequers in a desperate attempt to re-establish collective Cabinet responsibility and find agreement on a Brexit customs plan, they should keep in mind the thousands of businesses across the UK that rely on frictionless trade with the EU.
“If this increasingly chaotic Cabinet cannot put aside party politics and unite behind a credible customs plan, then the Prime Minister must act and endorse Labour’s calls for a new comprehensive UK-EU customs union. It is the only way to guarantee frictionless trade, protect jobs and prevent a hard-border in Northern Ireland.”