Brexit - Crucial Talks To Shape How Transition Will Work

The EU27 spot the British trying to diverge too far Credit Jasin Boland /Warner Bros

They number more than enough to trigger a leadership bid against May, whose government lacks a parliamentary majority.

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He claimed the points strengthen "the Government's negotiating position" and underline "that we are not going to be a rule-taker, we are going to be a rule-maker".

The timing of this letter is no surprise. She was left weakened by last year's disastrous election.

But EU officials say they doubt whether Britain will be ready to make a full break by Brussels' proposed date of December 31, 2020, and are preparing for a much longer goodbye, an idea anathema to hard Brexiteers. The Prime minister had reached a reluctant consensus between two warring sides, in party and in Government, on that limited transition period.

The letter was sent by the European Research Group, a collection of backbenchers headed by prominent Bexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg.

A new anti-Brexit political party, Renew, hopes to mobilize voters disenchanted with the major Conservative and Labour parties, both of whom are committed to taking Britain out of the EU.

The lawmakers' letter was dated February 16.

Theresa May will attempt on Thursday to bridge the rifts within her Cabinet over Brexit and unite senior ministers behind an agreed approach to negotiations with Brussels.

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While May hasn't yet formalized her plans, the broad shape of the deal she wants is becoming clear: The U.K. will stay closely aligned to European Union rules in many areas, including manufactured goods, while breaking away immediately in others, such as agriculture and financial services.

"It will be up to (EU leaders) to decide, also taking into account other treaty obligations, it will be an autonomous decision by the European Council", the official said.

Another proposed change in the United Kingdom document is to delete a provision in the EU version of the text which would have prevented the United Kingdom from taking "any action or initiative which is likely to be prejudicial to the [European] Union's interests in the framework of any worldwide organization, agency, conference or forum".

The letter published on Wednesday called on Mrs May to ensure that Britain had "full regulatory autonomy" from the European Union as well as being free to negotiate and sign deals with other countries.

Only accept an implementation period if the final deal is fully negotiated and ensure that phase is governed by World Trade Organisation principles.

"The UK must be free to start its own trade negotiations immediately", they say.

The UK paper was revealed in order to calm tensions with the government's pro-Brexit backbench MPs, who warned PM May against an open-ended transition period.

She said Renew's message is: "It's not too late".


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