Theresa May ‘scrapes through’ vote on customs bill

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 17, 2018

Remainers led by Stephen Hammond and Nicky Morgan will be pushing a new amendment to the government's trade bill, which will make it a negotiating objective to "participate after exit day in a customs union with the EU", in the event that a deal on frictionless trade can not be secured by January.

Facing defeat because of opposition from dozens of pro-Brexit MPs, the government agreed to changes, including a clause to toughen conditions over customs arrangements and another to ensure the United Kingdom is out of the EU's Value-Added Tax system.

The government won the vote on the tariffs amendment with a narrow majority of three lawmakers.

"Now that Ms Greening supports the Liberal Democrats' alternative vote system, their call for a second referendum and their disdain for the people's verdict in 2016, perhaps she might be better joining the party which she seems more at home with".

It would also mean that there would be nearly no time for Tory MPs to hold a confidence vote in the prime minister if one was called.

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". However, having examined the Chequers agreement.

The amendments could be used as a show of strength by the Brexiteers, who are furious at the Chequers plan, but there were signs at Westminster that Mrs May could be prepared to compromise in an effort to avert a damaging blow to her authority.

However, after allaying the Euroskeptic wing of her party, May faced renewed criticism from the other side, exposing the deep divisions over the European Union which exist within the Conservatives and have previously brought down Tory governments.

Parliament will debate aspects of the Brexit plan later Monday. "This is the next stage of the Tory power grab - and people now see the damage that will do".

It comes after the government announced earlier today that it was backing the amendment, tabled by Brexiteer Tories, to trade proposals relating to the UK-EU borders after Brexit.

However, the fourth one outlawing their proposed customs model unless the European Union agrees to collect taxes and duties in turn still to my mind poses problems.

In his first Commons speech since resigning from the government, the former Brexit secretary David Davis said the government would never allow a hard border.

Many are in mutinous mood, and eight MPs have given up government and party posts in just over a week over Brexit.

But furious pro-EU MPs accused the government of running scared of a hardcore minority of Brexiteers.

The new UK Brexit secretary Dominic Raab will meet the EU'S chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday (19 July).

Theresa May's Brexit plan is "not dead", a senior minister has insisted despite concessions made to Tory MPs to avoid a Commons defeat on trade.

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