We are not closer to a no deal Brexit, says May

Frederick Owens
July 20, 2018

"We have changed tack once, and we can change again", said Johnson.

UK Lawmakers confronted Prime Minister Theresa May on her plans for leaving the European Union Wednesday, with testy exchanges in the House of Commons underscoring her weakening grip on power.

The amendment would have required the government to try to negotiate a customs union arrangement with the EU if, by January 21, 2019, it had failed to negotiate a frictionless free trade deal with the bloc.

The ex-foreign minister said he was unable to support the Chequers plan and is happy to be speaking out against it.

The latest squabbling over Brexit has renewed speculation about a possible leadership challenge for May, who has had a particularly rough few weeks with high-profile resignations, knife-edge votes in the House of Commons, and criticism of her Brexit plans from both those who want to remain in the European Union and those who want to leave.

The Commons was only half full for the statement but Johnson was surrounded by eurosceptic members of the ruling Conservative party, including David Davis, the former Brexit minister who also quit the cabinet last week over May's plan.

No deal or no Brexit, that's where we are now. Why?

The release of the European Commission's leaflet comes as the new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab heads to Brussels for talks with Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator.

But Mr. Johnson said the government had "dithered" over the Lancaster House strategy.

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"But in the 18 months that have followed, it is as though a fog of self-doubt has descended..."

In the past 48 hours, the government has narrowly won a series of votes on trade and customs arrangements despite substantial rebellions by pro-European Tories.

Theresa May repeated her warning that "no deal is better than a bad deal" - as she admitted that some of her Brexit plan might not be ready in time.

But former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said, while the speech had been "well delivered", it was "hopeless to expect Mrs May to deliver on any of it".

Labor MP, Chuka Umunna criticized four Brexit-supporting Labor MPs who voted in the final key vote.

The backlash has seen the prime minister face persistent rumours Tory MPs are planning to topple her.

Although Varadkar described the no-deal outcome as unlikely, he said preparations were necessary because "we can't make assumptions that the withdrawal agreement will get through Westminster".

"I think you're looking at no-deal or no Brexit and the only way your get no Brexit is if there's another vote and I wouldn't put any money on another vote happening either".

Mrs May was criticised by her own side at Prime Minister's Questions, with Brexiteer backbencher Andrea Jenkyns asking pointedly "at what point it was decided that Brexit means Remain".

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