Mon, 15 April 2024

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Tory Brexiteer warns Theresa May ‘selling out’ over customs unions will trigger a leadership contest

Liz Bates

2 min read

Theresa May has been warned that backing down over a post-Brexit customs union with the EU would trigger a leadership contest.

The Prime Minister is under increasing pressure after pro-EU Conservative backbencher Anna Soubry tabled an amendment which would tie the UK to the trading arrangement.

The plan looks set to get support from Labour, with shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer saying over the weekend his party now “unanimously” backs a customs union with the bloc.  

However, Mrs May has insisted that the UK must instead be free to strike its own trade deals after Brexit, thereby ruling out such an agreement.

Today a Tory MP urged the Prime Minister not to water down the stance, telling the Telegraph: "They can't keep us in the Customs Union by another name.

“It would be a hokey-cokey amendment, one foot in and one foot out.

“It would be a complete sellout. If she does this the letters will go in [to trigger a leadership contest]."

Elsewhere the Brexit Secretary David Davis blasted Jeremy Corbyn’s position on the issue, accusing him of betraying Labour voters by breaching manifesto commitments.

In an article for the same paper, he wrote: "Labour may think they have stumbled across a simple solution to Brexit, but there is a lesson they are yet to learn: if it looks like snake oil, and it smells like snake oil, don’t expect it to make you feel better."

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