Britain's May reasserts her authority after Brexit resignations

Howard TerryJul 13, 2018

The UK has spoken of boosting the Commonwealth and forging a free trade pact with India after Brexit, but that will not be easy if Britain refuses to budge from its tough position on movement of people and visas.

Dominic Raab was appointed Brexit secretary by Mrs May after Davis' resignation.

The electorate is totally confused because May has deviated from the message of the 2017 referendum with her soft Brexit landing that she expects to use to placate Michael Barnier, the chief European Union negotiator.

The two departures shatter May´s own proclamation of cabinet unity last Friday, when she believed she had, after two years of wrangling, secured agreement on Britain´s biggest foreign and trading policy shift in nearly half a century.

The two sides are negotiating outstanding issues related to its departure as well as the outline of their future relationship once a proposed transition period comes to an end, on 31 December 2020.

He told the BBC that he thought the United Kingdom was giving away "too much, too easily" and predicted that the European Union would be demanding more concessions in talks.

He said: "Is this set up to fail so that we stay in a customs union?"

Why is this document so important?

"There are some contradictions, there are now proposals that will concern some other European Union countries because the single market and the four freedoms that are part of that, are a very important part of the privileges of European Union membership".

When Theresa May gathered her cabinet at Chequers on July 6, it seemed she would face one of three possible outcomes.

The four amendments to the crucial Customs Bill were put down a day before Thursday's publication of a White Paper setting out the British prime minister's plans, which infuriated Leavers and prompted the resignation of Cabinet ministers Boris Johnson and David Davis.

Britain is now part of the EU's single market - which allows for the frictionless flow of goods and services among the 28 member states - and its tariff-free customs union for goods.

Asked if he was planning to quit, environment Secretary Michael Gove said "absolutely not".

Britain's finance ministry declined to comment on the FT report, but said finance minister Philip Hammond has argued that the EU's existing equivalence system would not work for Britain. The EU says it will respond once it has seen the details.

Iain said: "I've just been handed a note that Boris Johnson has resigned as Foreign Secretary".

Mr Davis said the "current trend of policy and tactics" was making it look "less and less likely" that Brexit would deliver on the referendum result and the Tory commitments to leave the EU customs union and single market.

The plan has unleashed a rebellion by Brexit hardliners who fear it may prevent Britain from concluding free-trade agreements with third countries and effectively turn the country into a "vassal state" or "colony" of the EU.

Leaving the gathering, leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg said he did not think there would be a confidence vote over Mrs May.

Worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox was seen to shake his head and mouth the word "no" when reporters asked him on his way out of cabinet whether he was about to quit.

"And to bolster this cooperation, we will need a new model of working together that allows the relationship to function smoothly on a day-to-day basis, and respond and adapt to new threats and global shifts while taking back control over our laws".

Business, which has been calling for greater clarity for months, has welcomed the plans for close alignment over goods.

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