Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

United Kingdom govt drops plan for 'meaningful vote' on Brexit deal - Labour

United Kingdom govt drops plan for 'meaningful vote' on Brexit deal - Labour

The Prime Minister and Brexit secretary have been at loggerheads over the Government's latest backstop plan to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

The government decided not to change an amendment that would force it to try to negotiate a customs union with the EU that is shaping up to be the most contentious vote in parliament next week, an official with the opposition Labour Party said.

Theresa May has swerved a cabinet revolt following crisis meetings with David Davis, who was this morning rumoured to be on the cusp of resignation.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who is struggling to contain divisions within her cabinet over Brexit, proposed on Thursday that she would keep Britain tied to the EU's customs union for up to extra year after an nearly two-year transition period if there were any delay in implementing a divorce deal.

Mr Davis made it clear the document would be "decisive" as he said he planned to meet chief European Union negotiator Michel Barnier again for Brexit talks next week.

The note said: "The UK is clear that the temporary customs arrangement, should it be needed, should be time limited, and that it will be only in place until the future customs arrangement can be introduced".

In a document setting out what would happen if the UK's future customs deal with the European Union isn't in place by the end of the transition period, it is suggested the current rules would continue until December 2021.

"Our backstop can not be extended to the whole United Kingdom why because it has been designed for the specific situation of Northern Ireland", he said, adding that what was "feasible" for the relatively small territory of Northern Ireland was not necessarily feasible for all of the United Kingdom. Does it respect the integrity of the SM/CU (single market / customs union)?

But Downing Street said after "constructive" talks with Mrs May - Mr Davis would be staying put.

"Is it a workable solution to avoid a hard border?"

Pressed on whether he could remain in post if the backstop deal did not meet his full approval, Mr Davis said on Wednesday: "That's a question, I think, for the prime minister, to be honest".

Eloise Todd, the chief executive of Best for Britain, said: "For too long we've been asked to swallow the lie that the votes of 17 million people with their individual histories, experiences and ideas gave May a clear mandate to deliver whatever Brexit she can fashion".

The Prime Minister also held separate face-to-face discussions with leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Liam Fox.

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