British PM Theresa May under pressure after 62 lawmakers demand hard Brexit

by Garry Watts February 22, 2018, 0:32
British PM Theresa May under pressure after 62 lawmakers demand hard Brexit

Earlier Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was time for Mrs May to spell out clearly what kind of relationship she wanted with the European Union after Brexit, accusing her of "waffle and empty rhetoric" at Prime Minister's Questions. They number more than enough to trigger a leadership bid against May, whose government lacks a parliamentary majority.

Your Government must have the ability to change British laws and rules once we leave, rather than being a "rule taker" without any substantive say in whatever Brussels decides.

The letter also comes just as serious negotiations on the transition period are set to begin.

It was sent by the European Research Group, whose chairman is Jacob Rees-Mogg, and signed by 62 MPs.

The letter, revealed by the Times tonight, urged Theresa May to stick to the Brexit ideals outlined in her rousing Lancaster House speech one year ago.

The lawmakers' letter was dated February 16.

Senior British officials have privately discussed the idea as a fall-back option that could be used if the European Union reneges on its commitment for a new free-trade deal to come into force after Brexit, three people familiar with the matter said.

Krueger's silver ends USA speedskating medal drought
Girard, 21, finished in 1min 24.650sec, ahead of the USA's John-Henry Krueger, who picked up the silver clocking 1:24.864. Samuel Girard of Canada has won Olympic gold in the 1,000-meter short-track speedskating at the Pyeongchang Games.

Brexit Secretary David Davis proposed that both sides could mutually recognize each other's regulations as acceptable in future, removing the need for cumbersome negotiations on developing shared regulatory regimes.

British ministers worry the United Kingdom will lose negotiating leverage in the detailed trade talks that will have to take place during the transition phase because the country will already have left the EU.

"I want to ensure that UK companies have the maximum freedom to trade and operate within German markets, and for German businesses to do the same in the UK", May said after meeting German leader Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, of the pro-EU Open Britain campaign, said: "It appears the government wants transition to last indefinitely - a never-ending road to nowhere because the cabinet can't agree on our future trading relationship with the EU".

While the letter stopped short of telling May to drop her transition plan altogether, it does not endorse the "no change" period that May and her ministers have told businesses they can expect next year.

It calls for the United Kingdom to gain full "regulatory autonomy" after Brexit and be allowed to negotiate trade deals with other countries as it sees fit.

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