Fears over Brexit backstop following Westminster vote

Fears over Brexit backstop following Westminster vote”

The original Chequers agreement caused the resignations of two key members of May's Cabinet: Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

It has been reported that more than 100 Brexiteer MPs have joined a WhatsApp group coordinating voting tactics against Mrs May, and would be meeting ahead of a vote on the customs bill.

Brexiter MPs, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, on Monday forced the government to back four amendments to Brexit legislation, including one meant to scupper May's plans for a new customs deal.

Theresa May faces a damaging Commons defeat on Tuesday as Labour confirmed it would back an amendment put down by rebel Tory MPs seeking to ensure Britain remains in a customs union after Brexit.

The skirmishes are expected to continue Tuesday when a trade bill is debated.

The amendments could be used as a show of strength by the Brexiteers, who are furious at the Chequers plan, but there were signs at Westminster that Mrs May could be prepared to compromise in an effort to avert a damaging blow to her authority.

The prime minister also said that the taxation (cross border trade) bill, which seeks to allow the United Kingdom to implement its own customs regime after Brexit, and a related trade bill on Tuesday, were "an important part of our no-deal preparations" because both were necessary to prepare the United Kingdom for life as an independent trading nation.

MPs on all sides of the House will get the chance to vote on the motion tomorrow.

The plan, only a starting point for the second phase of talks with the European Union, has come under fire from other eurosceptic lawmakers, who say the proposal to keep close customs ties to the European Union betrays her commitment for a clean break with the bloc. But when Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to do same last night, the Tory Remainer shot up in the Commons to decry his "act of malevolence towards the Government".

The battle over the amendments to the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill, or customs bill, is unlikely to be the last that May and her team will have to face.

The minister for small business, Andrew Griffiths resigned from government after sending text messages of a sexual nature to two female constituents.

He said the government could "not please everybody" and there had to be compromises but Brexit had been backed by 17.4 million people in a referendum and legislation implementing that decision approved by MPs.

Following the publication of the PM's Chequers plan in a white paper, it had been thought Tory Remainers would withdraw their amendments and offer their support to the government's proposals.

"All my European Union sources say they want to engage constructively with the whitepaper and avoid giving the impression that it is dead on arrival".

Some in the pro-EU faction have also rejected the plan.

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