United Kingdom says marathon meeting bears Brexit trade plan

Brexit Secretary David Davis

Mrs May appointed Dominic Raab, a Brexit supporter and previously housing minister, her new Brexit secretary.

He continued: "As far as I am concerned there is a British government position that has been confirmed by the British prime minister and her Cabinet in the last two days that I think helps to move the Brexit process forward somewhat and that's where I think our focus should be".

The plan involves close alignment with EU trading rules on industrial goods and agricultural products and leaves the door open to preferential migration rules for European citizens, but it makes little mention of services, which account for 80 per cent of Britain's economy.

The common rulebook for goods, including food and agricultural products, could limit the UK's ability to strike trade deals with countries such as the U.S., for whom securing market access for American farmers would be a big prize.

Despite talk of potential resignations ahead of the Brexit showdown, Mrs May's cabinet signed up to the proposals, which will now be set out in full in a white paper presented to parliament this coming week. On the other hand, the plan seems to have received the genuine backing of original Brexiteer Michael Gove, who has insisted that the plan will ensure the United Kingdom regains control of its border, the end of the direct jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and regulatory autonomy for the services sector.

"Read the detail and ask if this allows us to take back control".

Mr Gove - a key figure in the 2016 Leave campaign - said it was a "perfect balance" between the need for close access to Europe and allowing the services industry to diverge from European Union rules and regulations.

The Prime Minister has told her Cabinet that collective responsibility rules are now being fully applied, meaning she will not tolerate criticism of what has been agreed.

The proposal May will present to Cabinet on Friday - dubbed a "facilitated customs arrangement" - calls for the U.K.to use technology at its borders to determine whether goods are bound for Britain or the European Union, and charge the appropriate tariffs.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the influential European Research Group of pro-Brexit Conservative MPs, warned that a common rulebook could make "trade deals nearly impossible" if it meant regulations would have to apply to any goods coming into the UK.

Barnier said outstanding issues included data protection, cooperation between police and judicial authorities and how to settle legal disputes that may arise under the withdrawal deal.

"An egg that is very softly boiled isn't boiled at all".

John Longworth, one-time director general of the British Chambers of Commerce and co-chairman of the pro-Brexit group Leave Means Leave, pulled no punches with his message, saying: "Those who campaigned for Leave but have not resigned will see their reputations in tatters". He suggested his support for the prime minister was not unconditional.

He said May's plan may be worse than leaving the European Union without any deal at all.

Sir Martin Donnelly said that the UK doesn't have the same clout as the European Union when it comes to trade with the United States.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris said the package was "realistic" and Brexiteers now had to be "grown up" about it.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Longworth accused May of totally misleading the 17.4 million British people who voted leave, "and left it as late as possible to reveal that she remains a stubborn Remainer".

It claims the Prime Minister's Brexit promises appeared to be "a pretence and a charade meant to dupe the electorate" and concludes that "in the interests of our country and the future of the Conservative Party, I feel the time has come for a new leader".

The first briefing was led by Chief Whip Julian Smith and the Prime Minister's chief of staff Gavin Barwell, with 10 Tory MPs attending the Saturday morning session.

"Frankly, just as it was known what the policy was, it was also known I had concerns about it".

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