Theresa May Rejects Idea of Second Brexit Referendum

Lester Mason
July 16, 2018

The raft of resignations leaves Prime Minster May with a significant Brexit headache, with many ministers warning that a split may be on the way. "The only way we can deal with that is to go to the people". On Monday, she appeared ready to make one major concession to the hard-liners, allowing important changes to the government's customs agreement with the the hopes of heading off continued dissension.

Reports at the weekend suggested that about 40 of the 48 MPs needed had lodged no-confidence letters with the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 Committee after May had indicated that the United Kingdom was prepared to sign up to a "common rule book" for food and goods after Brexit.

'I've put down some amendments and we'll see what support they get, ' he said on Sunday.

Courts said he had resigned so that he could "express discontent" with May's proposals in expected parliamentary votes.

She acknowledged that some lawmakers had doubts about her plans to stick to a "common rule book" with the bloc for goods and agricultural products in return for free trade, without tariffs or border customs checks, but insisted she couldn't see a viable alternative.

Last week, members of the hard Brexit group put down four amendments to the taxation (cross-border trade) bill due to be debated on Monday evening, aimed at halting the customs plan announced by May at Chequers nine days ago.

She added: 'Things have moved on from that very clear message that Brexit means Brexit, and that is why we are rightfully questioning the legislation, putting forward new clauses and amendments, and saying not just to the Prime Minister but the whole of government reconsider, look again and work with us'.

'It is time for all of us - at this critical moment in our constitutional development - to believe in ourselves, to believe in the British people and what they can do, and in our democracy, ' he wrote.

Monday's data showed that overall net long-term immigration of people of all nationalities to Britain rose to 282,000 in 2017 from 249,000 in 2016, though this is well below the record of 332,000 recorded in 2015.

Theresa May bowed to pressure from Tory Brexiteers today and accepted legal changes to her Chequers blueprint that could make a customs deal with the European Union impossible.

The most dramatic resignations over Mrs May's Brexit plan, subsequently set out in a white paper to parliament, saw former Brexit secretary David Davis and ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson step down from government. To win, the prime minister has to win over half of the Tory party's 316 MPs, and if she does, another no-confidence vote could not be held for 12 months.

Pro-Europeans also dislike May's plan, particular her goal to have looser ties with the European Union for Britain's dominant services sector.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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