Chequers deal crumbles as Theresa May gives into ERG’s amendments on new Brexit bill, putting facilitated customs arrangement at risk

I’ll be with you Heidi. Having made great strides with her #Brexit#WhitePaper to meet the needs of business, the PM has allowed it to be wrecked by caving in to the hard no deal Brexiteers. Seems Jacob Rees Mogg is running Britain.— Anna Soubry MP (@Anna_Soubry) July 16, 2018 Chequers deal crumbles as Theresa May gives into ERG’s amendments on new Brexit bill, putting facilitated customs arrangement at risk The government has backed down on all four of the wrecking amendments put forward by Brexiter-in-chief Jacob Rees-Mogg last week, in order to avoid an embarrassing defeat in the House of Commons.Three of the amendments were relatively uncontroversial, but a fourth – tabled by former Cabinet minister Priti Patel – was widely viewed as a “wrecking amendment”, demanding thatTheresa May drop her plan to collect tariffs on behalf of the EU unless EU member states agree to do so in reverse. I will never give ERG my backing so will vote against their 2 wrecking amdts which fundamentally undermine the Chequers proposal & our PM. Will abstain on NC37 (NI no hard border as already secured in GRBill) & 72(Act of Parl reqd for a CU, see tomorrow)— Heidi Allen (@heidiallen75) July 16, 2018 Monday 16 July 2018 4:35 pm Share Another added: “We have got to revise the whole proposition now – I don’t think they will need to tear up the whole white paper, but there’s a lot of technical things they need to ‘fess up about, and get rid of the ambiguity they were trying to hide behind.”The amendment demonstrates that we have to toughen our act up with EU. I think that message has got through now,” the ERG member said, noting that it had underscored the strength of the Eurosceptic group.”We have more clout than they thought – they will not be messing with us again,” the backbencher said.City A.M. understands that at least two parliamentary private secretaries – who must vote in line with government policy – have been contacting Conservative MPs on behalf of the ERG as part of a shadow whipping exercise and are possible flight risks in the coming days.May is still facing the prolonged pain of multiple resignations, trickling out over successive days. This morning has already claimed its ninth scalp after Treasury PPS Scott Mann resigned. But answering questions in the Commons, May insisted the amendments “do not change that Chequers agreement”, adding: “I would not have gone through all the work I did to ensure that we reached that agreement only to see it changed in some way through these bills.”However, Remainer Tories are unhappy with the direction of travel:   whatsapp Catherine Neilan City A.M. understands it was reluctantly accepted, after attempts by the Prime Minister’s whips to do a deal with the influential backbench European Research Group this morning failed.A Downing Street source said it had been accepted as it was “consistent with the position set out in the white paper”, adding that the white paper calls for “reciprocity that the UK and the EU should agree a method for the remittance of relevant tariff revenues, on the basis this is likely to be the most robust approach.”But Brexiters argued it will ultimately kill the PM’s controversial facilitated customs agreement, and was “a torpedo right through the middle of Chequers”.One source said: “We drew up that amendment so it would be unacceptable, so that they would have to fight and lose. Our point is that there is not a government majority for Chequers – there’s not a government majority for anything.”We weren’t expecting that they would accept it but that just shows the direction of travel. Chequers is a poison pill the Tories can’t afford to swallow.” whatsapp

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