Prime Minister Theresa May bowed to pressure from Brexit supporters in her Conservative Party on Monday, accepting their changes to a customs bill that underpins Britain’s departure from the European Union. Theresa May, vulnerable in parliament after losing her party’s majority at an ill-judged election last year, has come under fire from both wings of her party over a hard-won Brexit plan, with one ex-minister calling it the “worst of all worlds”.
British Prime Minister Theresa May drew fire from all sides Monday over her Brexit strategy as a former minister described it as a “fudge” and called for a second EU referendum, and eurosceptics readied a parliamentary challenge.
“The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people,” former education secretary Justine Greening wrote in an article in The Times.
Luca Jahier, the president of the European Economic and Social Committee, told the South China Morning Post that the US still remains an important political and economic partner of the EU, even though the EU opposed Trump tariff measures.
“We ought to be careful not to respond to aggressive behaviour with aggressive behaviour. I don’t believe trade wars can be resolved by [adopting] protectionist stances,” Jahier said ahead of Monday’s annual China-EU summit in Beijing. The European Union has already seen the dire consequences of those policies in the past, and has learned its lessons.”
Donald Trump, a long-time supporter for Brexit, said he had advised Theresa May to leave the EU in a different way but was ignored.
“I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me. She wanted to go a different route. I would actually say that she probably went the opposite way. And that is fine. She should negotiate the best way she knows how. But it is too bad what is going on.”
“We’re making sure we’ve got a bespoke relationship with the EU,” Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, who was only appointed on Monday after his predecessor David Davis quit in protest over the plan, told BBC radio.
“It’s a credible proposal. It’s bold, it’s ambitious but it’s also pragmatic,” he said.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quit on Monday over Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to leave the European Union, the second resignation in a day, leaving the British leader’s Brexit plans in crisis.
“This afternoon, the prime minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary,” May’s spokesman said in a statement. “His replacement will be announced shortly. The prime minister thanks Boris for his work.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May faced a crisis in her cabinet on Monday after Brexit minister David Davis and two of his deputies resigned over a plan to retain strong economic ties to the EU even after leaving the bloc. Ian Lavery, chairman of the main opposition Labour Party, said: “This is absolute chaos and Theresa May has no authority left.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Today in detailed discussions the cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the EU. Next week we will be publishing a white paper which will set out more details of how we will be taking back control of our money, laws and borders. Now we must all move at pace to negotiate our proposal with the EU.”
The proposal Theresa May is presenting Friday — dubbed a “facilitated customs arrangement” — calls for the U.K. to use technology at its borders to determine whether goods are bound for Britain or the EU, and charge the appropriate tariffs. It would also commit Britain to keeping its regulations closely aligned to those of the EU for trade in goods and agricultural productions — but not in services, which accounts for the bulk of Britain’s economy.