May Accused of 'Dancing to the Tune' of Hardline MPs for White Paper Amendments

© AFP 2022 / Matt DunhamBritain's Prime Minister Theresa May
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May - Sputnik International
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The Brexit whitepaper amendments proposed by the European Research Group and accepted by Theresa May ensure the EU rejects the plan immediately, Remainers say.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is under fire again for succumbing to the demands of hardline Brexit proponents among her Cabinet when "faced with the possibility of revolt at Westminster," according to Irish News.

"By capitulating to their proposals on Customs and [the] Trade Bill, she is accepting that the Chequers deal is now dead in the water," Labour MP Stephen Kinnock said Monday.

The House of Commons accused the Prime Minister of "dancing to the tune of the European Research Group," the organization of Brexiteer MPs led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, which include some 60-80 people (there are 316 Conservatives in the House of Commons, according to www.parliament.uk).

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A compromise agreement between proponents of various Brexit scenarios, dubbed the Chequers deal, was reached last week and has been altered by Downing Street. Four amendments were added last night at the behest of Brexit supporters.

One of the amendments in question says the UK will only collect duties on behalf of the EU if other EU members agree to do the same for the UK — which, according to the Independent, is not going to happen.

Another amendment cements in a law that there would be no customs border between Northern Ireland and the mainland UK — which many considered a compromise solution in order to evade hard border between the two Irelands.

The others two require the UK to have a separate value-added tax (VAT) system from the EU, and require entirely new legislation if the government is to keep Britain in the customs union. A Prime Minister's Office spokesman defended the acceptance of the amendments, saying: "We believe they are consistent with the white paper we published last week."

The Prime Minister also defended the amendments in question herself.

"I would not have gone through all the work that I did to ensure that we reached that agreement only to see it changed in some way through these bills. They do not change that Chequers agreement," she said to the MPs.

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MP Anna Soubry attacked the Prime Minister claiming that European Research Group and Jacob Rees-Mogg are running the country now.

"Who is in charge? Is it the prime minister or is it the honorable member for North East Somerset [Mr Rees-Mogg] — I know where my money is sitting at the moment," she added, according to Independent.

Peter Bone, a signatory to the amendments, said the whole situation was a "shambles" and called for the Chequers plan to be taken off the table.

"I can't possibly dress it up in any other words than it's an absolute shambles and a self-inflicted shambles by Number 10," he said, referring to the Office of the Prime Minister.

Peter Dowd MP, a Labour treasury spokesman, said: "It took two years for the Prime Minister to reach her Chequers deal, but only two days for it to fall apart.

"The white paper lies in tatters, the government is in free fall and Theresa May has no authority left," he added.

Justine Greening, a former Education Secretary, has proposed a second referendum as a solution to the deadlock, saying the Chequers deal in its current state offers the "worst of both worlds."

"The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people," she said in an article for The Times.

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