Theresa May’s hard Brexit opponents in the Conservative party last night conceded that they were unable to produce a coherent Brexit plan to rival her Chequers plan that they have threatened to derail.
80 Tory MPs have threatened to vote against Theresa May’s Chequers plan. But there is no sign of any other solutions to the Brexit being put forward by the Prime Minister.
And now it appears that the Hard Brexiteers in the Tory party including the ERG faction led by Jacob Rees Mogg, despite their constant sniping, have no more successful plan for the UK to leave the EU.
After weeks of sniping and ministerial resignations, there had been expectations that a document by Tory Hard Brexiteers was about to be released.
Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had controversially compared Theresa May’s Brexit plan to the UK donning a “suicide vest”and handing the EU the button on the weekend.
But under pressure to produce their own plan Tory Brexit rebels have now confirmed that they would not provide an alternative to the Chequers agreement that they insist would be a disaster.
There are too many divisions about how a Brexit plan would look between them, and too many difficult quandaries to resolve.
After two years, the Tory Brextremists have not been able to come up with a coherent plan that protects the unity of the United Kingdom, its economy and trade with Europe.
– A disappointing reality for those who may have hoped that MPs would “just get on with it” and that anybody pointing out contradictions and problems was part of “project fear”,scuppering Brexit or betraying the “will of the people.”
David Davis today defended his Brexit rebel colleagues’ failure to come up with an alternative that works, saying that he and other hard Brexiteers would come up with suggestions instead.
Fellow Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith added: “it is not about alternatives as Chequers is essentially dead – it does not work.” He insisted that it was up to the Government to come up with a plan that worked.
Duncan Smith also suggested that the Government could fall if Theresa May went ahead with her Chequers plan as Tory rebels would vote against it.
Boris Johnson’s allies have told the Guardian that he will continue to throw stones at Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations as he is still plotting to replace her as PM.
Last week accounts that Boris Johnson admitted he “deeply regrets”going down the Brexit route were revealed.
In a general debate in the Commons on the mechanics of legislating Brexit, Jacob Rees Mogg said he could not support Theresa May’s 21 month implementation plan during which the European courts would still be supreme.
Meanwhile last night Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator said that a deal is negotiable in the next 6 weeks on the initial principles of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU rather than its future trading relationships, but several compromises need to be made.
“I think if we are realistic, we are able to reach an agreement on the first stage… within 6- 8 weeks,” said Barnier.
But he insisted that major hurdles still remained– including the border between Northern Ireland and the UK, still a problem that has not been solved. Barnier explained that the EU had no desire to create a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain.
Britain is due to leave the EU on 29 March next year.