Cabinet deal provokes backlash among Brexiteers

Posted On: 
7th July 2018

Theresa May’s Cabinet deal has provoked a backlash among several high profile Brexiteers, including backbench Conservative Eurosceptics.

Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns said that the deal would make the UK a "rule taker".
PA Images

Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns, who resigned her position as a junior minister to “fight for Brexit”, said that the deal would be damaging to the UK, saying “British businesses would continue to be a rule taker from the EU.”

“I hope the details are better than the breaking headlines. Pray God.”

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During the day-long summit at Chequers, senior Brexiteers within Cabinet fell behind a proposal that would see the UK follow single market rules for goods, but not services.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG), refused to be drawn into outright criticism of the deal, but that he would not vote for any deal that would see the Government's red lines "turn pink". 

Speaking on the BBC's Today Programme this morning, Rees-Mogg denied that he wanted to see the whole deal "ripped up" and said that he wanted more detail on the proposals.

"A very soft Brexit means that we haven't left, that we simply are a rule taker. That is not something this country voted for" he said. 

"I will certainly stick to the Conservatives' manifesto commitments and will not vote for something that doesn't deliver Brexit."

Members of the ERG, which favours a hard Brexit, have reportedly been lobbying Rees-Mogg to speak out publicly against the deal.

An unnamed ERG MP told the Guido Fawkes website: "This looks like a total betrayal from both No10 and the Cabinet. We will be total rule takers and our ability to strike trade details will be severely hampered.

“Cabinet Brexiters promised us they would fight this. If what Number 10 Says is true, this is not Brexit.”

Tory Remainer Anna Soubry, one of the few Conservatives to rebel against the EU Withdrawal Bill in June, tweeted her tentative support for the deal, congratulating Theresa May and welcoming the "restoration of collective responsibility". 



Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage branded the strategy a “sell-out”. 

In a series of Tweets last night, the former UKIP leader said: "Brexit did not mean keeping the 90% of our economy that does not export to the EU trapped by their laws.

"This Brexit strategy is a sell-out to the global corporates, as it was during Maastricht. The Tory Eurosceptics are a waste of space.

"No resignations means that the so-called Brexiteers in cabinet don't have a principle between them, career politicians all.

"Today's agreement is just the government position, once they meet even more concessions will be made. Delaying March 29th 2019 will be the next target for the EU and the establishment."