Tory resignations hit double figures as May U-turns again
Theresa May has been forced to deny claims from Labour that she has "capitulated" to extreme Brexiteers after the government was forced to back a series of amendments to its customs union plans after a sustained campaign by Jacob Rees Mogg and his backbench European Research Group of MPs.
"I would not have gone through all the work that I did to ensure we reached that agreement only to see it changed in some way through these Bills. They do not change that Chequers agreement,” she said.
May also came under fire from her own MPs, with Anna Soubry launching a broadside against the PM, asking "Who is in charge...is it the prime minister or is it the member for North East Somerset [Jacob Rees-Mogg]”?
Defense Minister Guto Bebb becomes the tenth Minister to resign from the government in the past fortnight over its handling of Brexit, quitting in order to oppose the amendments to the PM's original plans.
The Chequers agreement would have seen the UK remain in "harmony" with EU rules and regulations post-Brexit, with the UK continuing to apply EU regulations in return for a higher degree of access for goods into Europe, and a frictionless border in Ireland.
However Tory Brexiteers in the ERG view this as a 'betrayal' of the 2016 Referendum result.
Labour's Peter Dowd, commented “It took two years for the prime minister to reach her Chequers deal, but only two days for it to fall apart. The government can’t get agreement with their own MPs, let alone with the European Union.”