UK to refuse Brexit bill without trade deal, says minister - International

Lester Mason
July 23, 2018

Mr Raab said: 'I want to make sure we can persuade everyone - grassroots, voters, parliamentary party and ministers, including in the Cabinet - that we've got the best deal and the best plan to get the best deal'.

The UK had hoped the outline of trade deal could be reached by the European Council's summit on October 18 - meaning there are fewer than 13 weeks for an agreement to materalise. "I don't see how the government would get a bill through Parliament that said we will pay the European Union £39 billion and we can't get anything definite in return".

The possibility of leaving without a trade deal has increased with May facing rebellions from different factions in her party.

The prime minister has said it is time to "get on with" reaching a Brexit deal as she and other cabinet ministers try to sell their plan for it in Europe.

Mr Raab earlier said there had to be "conditionality" under the Article 50 withdrawal mechanism between settling Britain's exit payment and creating a new relationship with the EU.

And he added: "At this stage in the negotiation we don't have many weeks left, but actually it's not a matter of needing more time, it's a matter of choosing the right decisions and being absolutely clear".

The extent of Mrs May's reassurance to unionism may also be linked to next week's first meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference for more than a decade - a meeting about which some unionists have been nervous.

She took on the argument of prominent Eurosceptics including Jacob Rees-Mogg, who say the United Kingdom should simply declare it will impose no checks on its side of the Irish border and leave it to Brussels to decide whether to require the Republic to erect barriers on the other.


May's political vulnerability was exposed by the survey which found voters would prefer Boris Johnson, who quit as her foreign minister two weeks ago, to negotiate with the European Union and lead the Conservative Party into the next election.

Mr Raab also appeared to confirm the government is planning for a lorry park on the M26 motorway in Kent, should severe tailbacks occur due to post-Brexit delays at the Port of Dover.

On a second referendum, Sir John told The Andrew Marr Show: "I mean, frankly, a second vote has democratic downsides".

He went on "We are making sure both in the allocation of money - £3billion extra allocated last Budget - and through operational things like hiring extra border staff, through the legal arrangements both domestic and the treaty arrangements that we are ready for any and every eventuality and we will gradually and responsibly which is the right thing for the Government to do set out more of the detail of that through technical notices". I think it is.

However, when it comes to Brexit, people unexpectedly give preference to Boris Johnson, who just recently resigned from the position of the British foreign minister following a spat with May over the Chequers deal.

"It is with much sadness that I have to say that have also lost trust in her to deliver the referendum result too", he said.

Mr Grieve said he did not believe Mrs May is at risk, but added: "The only group that could possibly bring the Prime Minister down is if the group of my hard Brexit colleagues so lose the plot that they decide that is an effective way for them to proceed".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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