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.
South Africa has joined more than 50 African states in signing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) agreement, which is aimed at facilitating a single market for goods and services on the continent. President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the agreement during the official opening of the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government in Nouakchott, capital of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Michael Gove “physically ripped up” an official report on future customs options with the EU in anger after believing his concerns had been underplayed. Brexiteers oppose a customs partnership with the EU, which would see the UK collect tariffs set by the EU customs union on goods entering the country on behalf of the bloc.
The Cabinet minister was “livid” and “physically ripped” the document in two at a meeting on Wednesday evening with civil servants to “show he wasn’t prepared to accept the document as a summary of their discussions”, the newspaper added.
The European Union’s chief negotiator urged Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday to come up with “workable” proposals for Brexit and overcome “huge and serious” differences to prevent Britain from crashing out of the bloc without a deal. “Now we are waiting for the UK white paper and I hope it will contain workable and realistic proposals. But let me mention once again that the time is very short,” EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier said.
Even Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, two people whose actions have unquestionably influenced the campaign – Farage through long-held conviction, Boris through self-serving ambition – will escape ultimate blame. All they could ever do was influence. To make the history books, one actually has to decide.