Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Theresa May Splits Cabinet To Seek Brexit Solution

Theresa May Splits Cabinet To Seek Brexit Solution

The prime minister now just wants the plan to "die with dignity", according one Brexiteer's briefing.

They are expected to make a presentation to the Brexit "war committee" tomorrow and submit a written paper next week - meaning no decision is likely this week.

There is little time.

'On the European Union side, if they see divisions in the open, they will exploit that'. "And then deliver it", said a senior source in May's governing Conservative Party. Brexit supporters are trying to ensure May keeps to her word on making a clean break so that Britain can "take back control" of its laws, money and borders. The opposition Labor Party is happy to leave her to it. Under this proposal, Britain would collect tariffs on goods entering the country on the EU's behalf. A second plan, preferred by hard-line Brexit-backers, would set up a looser relationship and use technology to minimize disruption and border checks. It is a fantasy solution to trade only that ignores the peace on the Irish Border.

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Mr Green, who was sacked in December after a Cabinet Office inquiry found he had breached the ministerial code, told BBC Radio Four's The Westminster Hour: 'This is not the time for members of the Cabinet or anyone else inside the Conservative Party to indulge in ideology.

On the "max fac" proposal, Ms Thornberry asked: "Can the foreign secretary confirm. if the technology his proposal relies upon takes five years to become fully functional, then the United Kingdom will be obliged to remain part of the customs union and be bound by single market rules until at least 2023?"

Speaking less than a week after fellow Brexiteer Boris Johnson called the proposal "crazy", the Environment Secretary claimed the policy would leave the United Kingdom acting as the EU's "tax collector". "The British government is still entertaining the max-fac solution". Brexit-backers prefer the second version, while the European Union is now starting to engage with Mrs May's proposal - a plan it had previously branded unworkable.

Anti-Brexit group Best for Britain is also highly unconvinced, with CEO Eloise Todd saying: "Theresa May can create whatever working groups she wants but it doesn't change the facts".

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"This is being worked on as a priority", May's spokesman said.

The foreign secretary answered "of course" when challenged in the Commons about the convention following his public criticism of a customs proposal supported by the prime minister.

Theresa May has postponed votes on some key Brexit Legislation, as allies played down the possibility of any immediate agreement being reached over customs policy.

But the prime minister got a boost from pro-EU backbench lawmaker Kenneth Clarke, who told the BBC's "Sunday Politics" that he may be willing to "settle" for her plan rather than holding out for full membership of the EU's customs union.

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"The Labour position was not to support that", Miliband said.

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