Another Tory MP quits from Theresa May's government over Brexit

Theresa May

But her plans have been criticised by pro-EU Conservative lawmakers, with one former minister calling it the "worst of all worlds", while eurosceptics say the strategy will keep Britain firmly in the bloc's sphere of influence.

There will be no second referendum on Brexit, a spokesperson for Theresa May said on Monday, repeating the British prime minister's belief that her plan for leaving the European Union was the only way to get a deal that meets the government's aims.

"You've got the Chequers deal, you've got national suicide - the WTO option, or you've got the status quo", he said.

"Secondly, we're in instant control of all our regulations, our tariff schedules, we can move instantly to do that great trade deal president Trump wants to do with us, we don't have to wait for years for that customs deal to bed down".

"So all the second choices will be the Chequers deal".

MPs are set to vote today (July 16) on a series of Commons amendments meant to wreck her Chequers plan for a "common rule book" covering a new "UK-EU free trade area".

She told MPs: "He is absolutely wrong in his reference to the agreement that was reached at Chequers, I would not have gone through all the work that I did to ensure that we reached that agreement only to see it changed in some way through these Bills". Instead of facing them down and fuelling tensions, her spokesman said the government would accept their four amendments.

Sir Bernard said: "These amendments were only ever about clarifying Government policy, that the United Kingdom will not join a customs union with the EU, nor agree to split Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom for customs purposes, that we are leaving the EU VAT regime, and any customs arrangement with the EU is not one-sided".

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One junior minister Guto Bebb, resigned rather than support the ERG customs union amendment, which narrowly passed by 305 to 302.

Her comments come ahead of the crucial Commons votes on trade and customs policy next week.

The North Cornwall MP had campaigned to leave the European Union before the referendum and in no analogy whatsoever is otherwise notable for being rescued from the sea by a Conservative colleague after he jumped in, too embarrassed to admit that he did not know how to swim.

Pro-EU Conservatives have also tabled objections to the customs and trade bill, while former education secretary and remainer Justine Greening has called for a second referendum.

Jubilant Brexiteers believe Brussels will reject the Chequers plan, forcing Mrs May to think again.

However, critics said May had caved in to pressure from Brexit supporters who want a complete break with Europe.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, an arch eurosceptic who proposed the amendments, said he did not expect the bill, or another bill on trade due to be debated on Tuesday, to be blocked outright by the 650-member parliament.


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