MPs slam list of 'hard Brexit' demands sent to Theresa May
- Author: Ryan Wade Feb 22, 2018,
Feb 22, 2018, 1:00
Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a potentially risky outcry from 62 members of her own party who are demanding a quick, clean break from the European Union, just as she tries to finalize her Brexit plans.
Britain is hoping to negotiate a Brexit trade deal with the European Union that maintains high levels of access to the bloc's single market.
The letter includes a number of "suggestions" for securing a successful Brexit, including "taking control" of World Trade Organisation tariff schedules that regulate trading.
In it, the MPs say Mrs May "must" ensure Britain can change its laws without authorisation from Brussels from the moment it leaves the bloc in March 2019. She was left weakened by last year's disastrous election.
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Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said it appeared the Prime Minister had "one arm tied behind her back by the Tory militants who are now nakedly acting like a party within a party".
The group is headed by leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The chair of the treasury select committee, Nicky Morgan, claimed "this isn't a letter, it is a ransom note" and the group must believe it has "the Prime Minister as their hostage".
After months of internal divisions, May is aiming to win support on Thursday from her inner circle of cabinet ministers for her blueprint for the post-Brexit trade deal between the United Kingdom and the EU.
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The letters says the United Kingdom must not be stopped from negotiating trade deals with other countries once it leaves the European Union, and must gain full "regulatory autonomy".
Any implementation period, should be based on WTO principles, they added, without any obstruction to the United Kingdom from negotiating or signing other trade agreements.
Sam Lowe, a trade expert at the Centre for European Reform, told the Guardian: "A standstill transition is in everyone's interest and absolutely essential if the government is serious about negotiating a mutually beneficial ongoing relationship between the EU and UK".
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said last month that the United Kingdom would be free to negotiate deals but not be able to sign any global trade agreements without the say-so of the EU.
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