Brexit-backing ministers to confront Theresa May as Cabinet gathers for Chequers showdown

Posted On: 
6th July 2018

Theresa May is facing a full-scale revolt by Brexit-backing ministers as the Cabinet meets at Chequers to finally sign off the Government's aproach to quitting the EU.

Theresa May faces a gruelling day at Chequers.
Credit: 
PA Images

Up to seven members of her top team - including Boris Johnson, David Davis and Michael Gove - could formally reject Number 10's plan for breaking the deadlock.

They are angry at Mrs May's proposal to effectively keep Britain in the single market for goods, but not for services.

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The plan would also see "harmonisation" of regulations between Britain and the EU in an attempt to maintain an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - but potentially scuppering the chances of a free trade deal between the UK and America.

The rebel ministers, who also include Leave supporters like Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom, held crunch talks at the Foreign Office last night to discuss their response to Mrs May's proposal.

It is thought that they could present their own vision of a harder Brexit based on the deal struck between the EU and Canada at today's meeting, which is scheduled to last from 9.30am until 10pm.

In a sign of how precarious the Prime Minister's position is, deputy chief whip Chris Pincher texted some Tory MPs last night urging them to tweet that she was "delivering on the will of the people and we need a united party to deliver her vision".

One MP told PoliticsHome it was "desperate stuff", while another who did nor receive the text message added: "I suspect they judge I'm with those who actually want to deliver Brexit, not her vision of it".

Meanwhile, Mrs May herself said the Cabinet had a "duty" to agree a united Brexit approach.

In a statement issued ahead of the Chequers summit, she said: "Now is the time for another step forward. We want a deal that allows us to deliver the benefits of Brexit – taking control of our borders, laws and money and by signing ambitious new trade deals with countries like the US, Australia and New Zealand. 

"This is about agreeing an approach that delivers decisively on the verdict of the British people – an approach that is in the best interests of the UK and the EU, and crucially, one that commands the support of the public and Parliament."