Saturday, 17 November, 2018


Brexit: Government scrapes through Customs Bill vote

British Prime Minister Reshuffles Her Cabinet Former education secretary Justine Greening calls for second Brexit referendum
Bennie Garza | 17 July, 2018, 15:03

These make it extremely difficult for the United Kingdom to negotiate a viable solution for avoiding a hard border on the island on Ireland, where the EU's new external border should be after Brexit, and to which May committed to keeping it open.

The Times says that one of the four ERG amendments May accepted in the lead up to the vote was "intended to scupper" the controversial customs deal negotiated by Cabinet at Chequers that has led to a number of high profile resignations over the past week.

"We hope that a free trade agreement can be agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union that will allow for that soft border option and will enable Northern Ireland to continue to trade with the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the European Union in the context of a new trading arrangment".

Mrs May bowed to Brexiteer demands earlier to stem a threatened uprising on the Customs Bill.

MPs debated amendments on the customs bill - officially named the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill.

She asked: "Who is in charge?.is it the prime minister or is it the member for North East Somerset [Jacob Rees-Mogg]". Further tests will come as the Trade Bill is debated on Tuesday. A crucial vote on the collection of customs duties passed by 305 to 302, a majority of just three.

"I can not find someone who supported leave within the Conservative MPs (Members of Parliament) who is happy with the (Chequers) proposal if you talk to them in private", Peter Bone, a Conservative lawmaker and Brexit campaigner, told Sky News.

Bringing forward the summer recess would reduce the amount of time Tory MPs have to arrange a vote of no confidence in the PM, should they wish to do so.

"I'm sure Theresa May does not want to split the Conservative Party and therefore she will find that the inevitable outcome of the parliamentary arithmetic is that she will need to change it (the Brexit policy) to keep the party united", Rees-Mogg said.

Soubry and others were furious that the PM appeared to be prepared to tear up central features of the "Chequers" compromise plan that sparked the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson last week.

He added: "The European Union is a slow and not very effective negotiator of free trade agreements".

Former Conservative education secretary Justine Greening has called for a second referendum on the UK's Brexit deal.

She now argues a referendum should "give the public a first and second preference vote, allowing a consensus finally to be found".

"This is the stuff of complete madness", she said.

Or at least that is what well-placed sources tell me.

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