May wins support from UK government on Brexit plan
Story Code : 736143
May persuaded the most vocal Brexit campaigners in her cabinet to support her plans during an hours-long meeting at her Chequers country residence on Friday.
She seemed to have overcome rift among her ministers to win support for "a business-friendly" proposal drawn up to spur stalled Brexit talks.
"Today in detailed discussions the cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the EU," May said in a statement. "Now we must all move at pace to negotiate our proposal with the EU to deliver the prosperous and secure future all our people deserve."
The proposal, which states Britain's large services sector will not have the current levels of access to EU markets, will not come soon enough for Brussels, which has been pressing May to come up with a detailed vision for future relations.
Ministers outlined the government's position in a document, saying they had agreed that an earlier proposal made to the EU "needed to evolve in order to provide a precise, responsible and credible basis for progressing negotiations".
The new proposal would see Britain having a "common rulebook for all goods" in a combined customs territory and would enable Britain to set its own import tariffs and seal new free trade deals.
At the meeting, they also agreed that parliament would have the authority to decide whether to abide by EU rules and regulations in the future, and the government would step up preparations for the eventuality of a “no deal” exit.
The EU, however, had already dismissed as unrealistic the proposal as they said the UK has no chance of changing the bloc’s founding principles.
EU officials who had seen drafts of the long-awaited British white paper said the proposal would never be accepted.