Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Deep divisions in British politics with just 200 days to Brexit

Deep divisions in British politics with just 200 days to Brexit

Michael, now Lord, Heseltine launched a Conservative leadership challenge to Margaret Thatcher in 1990, triggering a contest won by John Major, after Lady Thatcher resigned as PM.

Steve Baker, a former junior Brexit minister who resigned over May's so-called Chequers proposals on Brexit, told the Press Association he was not advocating a change of leader but said May faced a massive problem at the September 30-Oct. The plan for a special Brexit deal summit is likely to be unveiled during the course of the Salzburg gathering, two people said, with one suggesting the announcement could come even sooner.

His intervention moved the currency markets but opinion was divided on whether this meant he thought that the Chequers plan might succeed in some form.

Mr Freeman said the advantage of having a contest next summer was that the issue of whether Brexit would happen would be settled by then and the party would, instead "be debating where we take it".

"That's a far better approach because it carries the party with you".

Both sides hope to reach a deal by early November on the terms of the divorce and the outlines of a future trading relationship. "Well I don't think he has".

However, another Brexiteer, Crispin Blunt, played down the significance of the comments.

"It's horrifying, wiping our profit, destroying investment in the autonomous, zero-emissions (technologies) we want to share", he told a Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham, England.

"Terrific. (It's) Unsurprising that they are going to go for that agreement".

Mr Baker, a former chairman of the influential pro-Brexit European Research Group of Conservatives, urged Mrs May to negotiate a free trade agreement instead of the Chequers plan.

May's spokesman said her proposal, known as "Chequers" for the country house where it was hashed out in July, is the only serious, credible and negotiable plan available.

But Mr Duncan Smith told Newsnight there were "plenty of solutions for that and those will be presented later on".

In a Mail On Sunday article, he said: "We should not rush to judgment on a deal that is still under negotiation".

"People are stuck in entry-level jobs and they're not progressing".

Sterling was trading strongly up on Friday last week after the European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he is open to any discussion on the hot issue of the Irish border while confirming that about 90% of the Brexit deal issues have already been sorted out between the European Union and the UK.

He said: "It is worth thinking about (the various scenarios) because everyone in Parliament who is enjoying making categoric statements about being against Chequers or against "no deal" is now loading the revolver for a game of Russian roulette, with a lot more than Brexit at stake".

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