Sunday 9 December 2018
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huffingtonpost - 26 days ago

May Calls Emergency Cabinet Meeting To Sign Off Brexit Divorce Deal

Theresa May has started the final push to win Cabinet and Tory party support for her Brexit plans after British officials agreed the draft text of a deal with the EU.In a determined bid to hold her government together, the Prime Minister called in senior ministers for individual consultations at Downing Street ahead of an emergency Cabinet meeting expected on Wednesday.Ministers were set to be handed the full detailed proposals on the shape of the legal Withdrawal Agreement that will govern the UK s exit from the 28-nation bloc next March.May is expected to directly appeal to several senior Brexiteers in her top team to support the proposals, arguing that the UK has won key guarantees on issues such as Northern Ireland and future customs and regulation ties to the EU.But she still faced the risk of one or more high profile resignations if ministers felt that the deal failed to meet their concerns that Britain would be trapped indefinitely within the orbit of the EU s rules.Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox were among the first expected to be called in. Allies of May fear that if Raab were to quit, his walkout would spark a mass resignation of colleagues including Penny Mordaunt and Esther McVey.Government sources confirmed that Wednesday night is the final deadline to sign off a deal in time to trigger a special EU summit later this month.No.10 spokesman said: Cabinet will meet at 2pm tomorrow to consider the draft agreement the negotiating teams have reached in Brussels, and to decide on next steps. Cabinet Ministers have been invited to read documentation ahead of that meeting. Irish broadcaster RTE broke the news that the text had been agreed, with a compromise hammered out to keep open the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland should trade talks fail in the future.It #39;s understood there is one overall backstop to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. It will be in the form of a UK-wide customs arrangement, but will have deeper provisions for Northern Ireland on the customs and regulatory side. Tony Connelly (@tconnellyRTE) November 13, 2018May s proposal to keep all of the UK in a customs partnership with the EU appeared to have been accepted by Brussels, with the caveat that an annex to the agreement could include regulatory differences between Northern Ireland and Britain.Even if the Cabinet can be kept on board, the possibility of any regulatory border in the Irish Sea would be difficult to accept for the DUP, whose 10 MPs currently prop up the Tory government.May needs to also to win the support of her Tory backbenches to have a hope of securing Parliamentary approval for the final deal, with a Commons vote expected some time in December.The backbench European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers, whose support is crucial in any Parliamentary vote, was set to make a joint statement with the DUP.Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was swift to warn that the deal would be stage managed, and urged the Cabinet to reject plans to keep the UK doomed to remain in the customs union and under Brussels regulatory control . People did not vote for colony status, he Tweeted.No one is fooled by this theatre. Delay after staged managed delay. A deal will be reached and it will mean surrender by the UK. We will be doomed to remain in the customs union and under Brussels’ regulatory control. People did not vote for colony status 1/2 Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 13, 2018

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