15:32 GMT +320 April 2019
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    A float depicts British Prime Minister Theresa May looking at her Brexit-baby during the traditional Rose Monday parade in Duesseldorf, Germany

    Conservative Backbenchers Remind Theresa May of Vulnerability on Brexit

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    A “Ransom Note” demanding Hard Brexit comes as the Prime Minister and “Soft Brexiteers” have been hoping to reach accommodation with Brussels.

    62 Conservative members of the British Parliament have co-signed a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May which came to light on the night of February 20, demanding that she implement their vision of a Hard Brexit from the European Union when Britain leaves in 2019.

    Included among the demands are that Britain places its negotiations with the EU within the wider context of a global trading strategy with "as many other countries as possible," requiring Britain to leave the EU Single Market and Customs Union which prohibit their members from negotiating independently. The signatories also demanded that the UK begin negotiating its independent trade agreements immediately rather than after it has withdrawn from EU institutions.

    READ MORE: John Whittingdale: 'I'd Support Leaving the EU Even if We Can't Get a Good Deal'

    Further Division

    While the letter garnered the support of a significant number of backbenchers and more prominent Hard Brexiteers did not get any traction from the remaining 254 Tory members of Parliament, as noted by Conservative MPs online who thinly criticized the attempt to pressure the PM into taking a harder line on Brussels.

    Among the most prominent MPs pushing back against the Hard Brexiteer camp has been Anna Soubry who labelled the move "a challenge to the Prime Minister" and accused her fellow Conservatives of being loyal to their ideology rather than the country, the party or their leader. On February 6, Ms. Soubry dramatically warned that if the likes of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, or MP Jacob Rees-Mogg were to take over the government, she and other ‘Remain' and Soft Brexit supporting Conservatives would abandon the party.

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    Tags:
    party politics, customs union, European single market, Prime Minister, EU, British Conservative Party, Anna Soubry, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Europe, United Kingdom
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