Theresa May facing battle to survive at Chequers
Theresa May is locked in a battle for her political survival, as Brexiteers in the cabinet warn they will not accept the deal on offer at Chequers.
Details of the deal, which were leaked yesterday, show that May has made significant concessions to Brussels. The arrangements would see regulatory harmonisation between Britain and the EU, and ECJ control over key aspects of British Law. It would also make a trade deal with the United States nigh-on impossible.
Boris Johnson, David Davis, Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt and Esther McVey have all indicated that they will oppose the deal. Unfortunately for the PM, the Brexiteers have shown more resolve than Europhile Tories in getting what they want.
In an interview with Iain Dale at LBC, arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg gave a clear warning that the European Research Group would not back the deal being discussed at Chequers:
"The vassal state is the worst of all options, it's a very bad result, and there's no need for it either. We simply musn't accept this, we must stop having an approach that might lead us to the vassall state, and this is why no deal remains better than a bad deal.
“What is being talked about today - we don't know the final details, we don't know if it will be government policy - but what is being talked about today is the vassal state. And it is better to leave without a deal than have the vassal state.”
There are warnings in the Telegraph that backbench Eurosceptics could trigger a No confidence vote in the Theresa May if this deal is adopted as official government policy. Politics Home even reports that the Tory chief whip has been desperately texting MPs that the PM is “delivering on the will of the people and we need a united party to deliver her vision".
Labour capitalised on Theresa’s woes by offering ministers a ‘chequers survival kit’, consisting of pyjamas, fudge, a stopwatch, and a draft resignation letter.
Jenny Chapman MP, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Minister, said:
“Tory infighting over Brexit has got so serious Labour has been left with little choice but to try and offer ministers a helping hand before this latest peace summit.
“But there is a serious point to this. Every single day the Government wastes arguing with itself puts jobs and the economy at risk and increases the chances of the UK crashing out without a deal. No deal would be the worst possible outcome for our country.
“Businesses are crying out for certainty and even a glimmer of hope that ministers have a plan for Brexit.
“In the next 24 hours Theresa May must face down the extreme voices in her Cabinet and finally get on with the job of negotiating for Britain.”