May is warned by FOUR of her Cabinet at Downing Street showdown up to 22 ministers will quit to stop no deal
Theresa May was confronted by four of her ministers in Downing Street and warned to stop threatening no deal Brexit, it has emerged
Theresa May was confronted by four of her ministers in Downing Street and warned to stop threatening no deal Brexit, it has emerged.
Business Secretary Greg Clark, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, Justice Secretary David Gauke and Scottish Secretary David Mundell said up to 22 ministers would quit the Government to oppose crashing out.
They warned Mrs May businesses now need certainty the UK will not leave the EU without a deal in place, the Guardian said.
MPs are due to have a new round of showdown votes next and Mrs May has been warned failure to take no deal off the table could finally see Parliament take control.
The warning came ahead of today’s Cabinet where Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will brief on his latest talks with Brussels amid continuing deadlock over the Northern Ireland backstop.
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has delayed a speech due today on the backstop as talks continue with Brussels.
Mr Barclay was said to have had a ‘productive’ discussion with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier in the Belgian capital on Monday.
However, it appeared that they were no closer to resolving the fraught issue of the backstop – intended to ensure there is no hard border on the island of Ireland – which remains the main stumbling block to an agreement.
The Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) confirmed they discussed the so-called ‘Malthouse compromise’ being worked on by Tory MPs in the Alternative Arrangements Working Group.
The warning came ahead of today’s Cabinet where Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay (pictured today in Downing Street) will brief on his latest talks with Brussels amid continuing deadlock over the Northern Ireland backstop
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox (pictured today arriving for Cabinet) is due to give a speech on the backstop this week but it has been delayed from today as talks continue
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (left) and Chancellor Philip Hammond were among the arrivals for Cabinet today (pictured)
However there appeared to be little enthusiasm for the proposals – intended to replace the backstop with a basic free trade deal combined with technological solutions to avoid the need for physical border checks – on the EU side.
‘While the commission engaged seriously with these proposals it expressed concerns about their viability to resolve the backstop,’ a DExEU spokesman said .
‘We agreed to keep exploring the use of alternative arrangements – especially how they might be developed to ensure the absence of a hard border in Northern Ireland on a permanent footing, avoiding the need for the backstop to ever enter force.’
Mr Barclay’s meeting with Mr Barnier – with Attorney General Geoffrey Cox also present – came ahead of expected talks between Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.