The Prime Minister has issued a stark warning to MPs that failure to back her plan for Brexit would risk the UK will not leaving the EU at all.
In an article for the Mail on Sunday, Theresa May warns rebels on both sides of her party that there is no other “workable alternative future trading relationship” to the plan agreed at Chequers, and fleshed out in a White paper this week.
Her proposed solution, the Prime Minister said, would restore national sovereignty, end the payment of “vast membership subscriptions” to Brussels, allow for an independent trade policy and create a new economic and security partnership with the EU.
“This is the scale of the opportunity before us and my message to the country this weekend is simple: we need to keep our eyes on the prize. If we don’t, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all.
“This is a time to be practical and pragmatic – backing our plan to get Britain out of the European Union on March 29 next year and delivering for the British people,” the prime minister writes.
Mrs May also turns her focus to a crucial vote in the House of Commons on Monday, in which both europhile and eurosceptic Conservative MPs could rebel against the government’s Trade Bill, a key piece of Brexit legislation.
“There are some planning to vote for amendments that would tie us to a permanent customs union with the EU. This would be the ultimate betrayal of the Brexit vote.
“It would remove our ability to have an independent trade policy at all, conceding Britain’s role on the global stage as a force for free trade and endangering people’s jobs and livelihoods. This Government will never stand for that.”
“There are others who are planning to try and bring down a Bill that is essential in enabling us to prepare for life outside the European Union. This would put at risk our ability to make the necessary preparations for a no deal.
“And this could lead to a damaging and disorderly Brexit because without this Bill passing we would not be able to retain the benefits of more than 40 existing trade arrangements; and neither will we have the means to protect consumers, industries and workers from being undercut by unfairly traded goods in a post- Brexit Britain.”
Referencing her recent meeting with Donald Trump, Theresa May seized upon praise offered by the US president saying: “As President Trump has said, I’m a tough negotiator. And just as I made clear to him on Friday – I say to the British people today: I am not going to Brussels to compromise our national interest; I am going to fight for it. I am going to fight for our Brexit deal – because it is the right deal for Britain.”