Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

May survives rebel MPs but EU's Brexit judgment looms

May survives rebel MPs but EU's Brexit judgment looms

Mr. Johnson said that the United Kingdom should aim for the vision of "a strong independent, self-governing Britain" set out at Lancaster House, not the "miserable, permanent limbo" of Chequers.

Johnson, a rival of May's who quit as Foreign Secretary last week, urged the Prime Minister to push for a "strong, independent, self-governing Britain".

May's vulnerability in parliament, where she lost her Conservative Party's majority in an ill-judged election a year ago, was laid bare on Monday, when her decision to accept the demands of pro-Brexit lawmakers stirred a rebellion among those who want to keep the closest possible ties in the EU. He also said it is "not too late to save Brexit".

Johnson said the Lancaster House approach had been welcomed by commentators and the financial markets, but that "we never actually turned that position into a negotiation. instead we dithered, and we burned through our negotiating capital".

'We have changed tack once and we can change tack again.

He argued that the problem was not that Britain had failed to make the case to Brussels for an ambitious free trade deal, but "we haven't even tried".

A bristling Mrs May insisted at "absolutely no point" had that happened because "Brexit continues to mean Brexit".

Johnson said that would deliver "Brexit in name only" and leave Britain in a state of "economic vassalage".

However, while European Union leaders have made no secret of being ready to extend the deadline for a few weeks, there are deep reservations about any longer delay on Brexit, short of a revolutionary U-turn in Britain and a clear call from London to call Brexit off.

He referred to a "miserable permanent limbo of Chequers", a reference to the country residence of the prime minister, where she emerged earlier this month with a plan to go forward that sought to strike a balance of the desires from both the pro-Brexit and pro-EU wings of her party. Johnson suggested it was a vision May herself had shared before the "fog of self-doubt had descended".

Prominent ex-ministers David Davis and Boris Johnson resigned from the cabinet over the plan devised at the PM's country retreat Chequers.

May will be back in Westminster on Wednesday to take questions from MPs.

The entire trade bill passed by 31 votes and now moves to the House of Lords for further scrutiny before returning to the Commons for a final vote.

Mrs May will try to rally her deeply divided parliamentary party as she addresses a meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers in the evening.

'This is a secret process and people do not need to declare that they have sent such a letter, but I believe you (and my constituents) have the right to know what I do as your local MP and that is why I am writing to let you know.

The prime minister insisted she was confident Britain had enough time to negotiate a deal with the European Union before leaving in March next year, and denied suggestions that Britain was moving closer to a "no-deal" Brexit.

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