Brexit will not be derailed, says Theresa May

By: | Published: December 17, 2017 6:18 PM

British Prime Minister Theresa May today said she will not allow Brexit to be "derailed" as she claimed that her government had proved doubters wrong by moving negotiations with the European Union (EU) to the next phase.

Theresa May, Brexit, European Union, britain, UK Parliament, brexit deal, Boris Johnson, EU Withdrawal Bill, british PMWriting in UK newspapers today, May said she is determined to get the most “ambitious” deal for Britain as it prepares to leave the 28-member economic bloc by March 2019. (Reuters)

British Prime Minister Theresa May today said she will not allow Brexit to be “derailed” as she claimed that her government had proved doubters wrong by moving negotiations with the European Union (EU) to the next phase. Writing in UK newspapers today, May said she is determined to get the most “ambitious” deal for Britain as it prepares to leave the 28-member economic bloc by March 2019. “This is a government that is getting on with the job. We are proving the doubters wrong and we will stick to the task: securing the best possible Brexit and building a Britain fit for the future,” she writes in ‘The Sunday Telegraph’. “Amid all the noise, we are getting on with the job. In the face of those who want to talk Britain down, we are securing the best and most ambitious Brexit deal for our whole United Kingdom,” she said.

She said the talks with the EU would now move to the “exciting part” of discussions on the implementation period for Brexit and the future of trading relationships. Despite her House of Commons defeat earlier in the week as a result of her own party’s rebellion to vote with the Opposition on giving UK Parliament more say in the final Brexit agreement, May struck a defiant tone in her message. “And my message today is very clear: we will not be derailed from this fundamental duty to deliver the democratic will of the British people,” she said. She spelt out her stance ahead of a crunch week for the UK government as the Cabinet prepares to discuss for the first time what the terms of a future deal with the EU should be.

UK Cabinet ministers are due to discuss the UK’s “end state” plans as the Brexit “war cabinet” – a sub-committee of senior ministers chaired by Theresa May – will meet on Monday, with a meeting of the full Cabinet scheduled for Tuesday. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a hard Brexiter, warns in a ‘Sunday Times’ interview that the UK must not mirror EU law in the long term to avoid becoming a “vassal state” of the EU. He believes the UK needs “something new and ambitious, which allows zero tariffs and frictionless trade” but maintains the freedom to “decide our own regulatory framework and own laws”. Many of his other Cabinet colleagues are in favour of a less hardline shift.

Meanwhile, two Conservative party peers have warned the British PM that she could face defeats in the House of Lords if the government tried to “bully” its members over the issue. May lost her first Brexit vote in the Commons earlier this week when MPs, including 11 Tory rebels, voted to give Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels as part of the EU Withdrawal Bill. Following the vote there were calls for the Tory rebels to be deselected by the party and some reportedly even received death threats. Baroness Altmann and Baroness Wheatcroft write in the ‘Observer’ that such threats “are worrying symptoms of the toxic atmosphere which has been created in our country”. “Mindful of the monumental importance for future generations of getting Brexit right, the Lords is unlikely to be receptive to bullying over a restricted timetable or vigorous whipping to toe the party line,” they warn.

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