Brexiteers prepare for all out war over Cabinet deal
The position agreed by the Cabinet would see the UK sign up to ‘ongoing harmonisation with EU rules’, along with a ‘common rulebook’.The European Court of Justice would also retain jurisdiction over UK Trade - putting a trade deal with America at risk. That last point seems to contradict one of Theresa May’s principal red lines.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the European Research Group of eurosceptic tories claimed that the deal concocted by the prime minister was ‘worse’ than ‘no deal’, accusing the cabinet of accepting a ‘punishment brexit’, and ‘keeping us in the European Union in all but name.’ He vowed to vote against the deal if details leaked to the press were correct.
Some went further. Andrea Jenkyns, a Conservative MP who quit the cabinet to fight for a ‘proper brexit’ from the backbenches, tweeted that she would be in favour of triggering a leadership challenge against May.
It’s not just Brexiteers who are unhappy. Nick Clegg said that Brexiteers would be ‘right to reject the PM’s plan’:
I hate to say this, but Brexiters would be right to reject PM’s plan. Dual EU/UK tariffs would create vast red tape, smugglers would boom,Parliament would be humiliated. MPs would rubber stamp goods/agri rules from Brussels - right to refuse would never be used as costs too high.— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) July 6, 2018
“It is farcical that it has taken two years for the Cabinet to even attempt to agree a position on the basics of our future relationship with the EU.
“On previous form, whatever has apparently been agreed will struggle to survive contact with Tory MPs and members.
“This looks like a sticking plaster rather than the Government’s final position. With just a matter of months of the negotiations left, Theresa May’s ability to deliver Brexit continues to be in doubt.”