A source close to the UK negotiating team added that there could be a resolution early the week after next, but added “who knows?”. The quiet optimism has come after intensive talks continued last week in London and are set to go on this week. But Boris Johnson has been warned by more than 100 backbenchers, including former leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and many of the MPs who helped sweep the Labour red wall seats, that he must not concede on his election manifesto promise to deliver a “real Brexit deal.” Tory Brexiteers have become increasingly concerned that the Government will make too great a compromise over British sovereignty to secure a deal with the EU by the end of the year.
More than 100 Tory backbenchers have been briefed by the Centre for Brexit Policy (CBP), an influential cross-party think tank, on how to determine whether the Brexit deal will fulfil their 2019 manifesto commitments and the Leave referendum promise to “take back control.”
The CBP has produced a Brexit deal ‘scorecard’ that measures the degree to which the final Brexit deal is consistent with the Conservative Election Manifesto of 2019 and has provided this scorecard to every member of the European Research Group (ERG) and every Tory MP who won a so called ‘Red Wall’ seat from Labour in the 2019 general election.
This includes ensuring the whole UK including Northern Ireland leaves the EU fully at the end of the transition deal on December 31.
They also want Britain to be free to set its own tariffs, make its own trade deals and not be subject to a foreign court in Luxembourg.
They have also insisted that Britain takes back control of its fishing waters, laws and money.Savanta ComRes polling has previously shown that a betrayal on Brexit could lose the Conservatives the recently won red wall seats.
Former Conservative Party leader and fellow of the CBP Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: “Boris Johnson’s government has a very clear Brexit policy, as spelt out in the 2019 Conservative Manifesto, on which we were elected.
“It is, to exit the EU customs union, take back control of our laws, our money, control our own trade policy and ensure we are in full control of our fishing waters.
“These negotiations must deliver on that if we are to retain the goodwill of those in the United Kingdom who voted for the Conservative Party, many for the first time.
“This scorecard will ensure that if and when a deal is agreed, the deal meets the criteria set out. Anything less will fail the test of what we promised would be vital to support British sovereignty and British interests.”
Alexander Stafford MP, who became the first ever Conservative MP for Rother Valley in 2019, added: “The country will never forgive the Conservative Party if we do not uphold the manifesto commitments that led to the breaking of the Red Wall.
“Therefore, it is vital the Brexit deal that Boris brings back to the nation will respect the promises we made before the 2019 election.”
There has been speculation that 95 per cent of what is needed for a trade deal has been agreed but the EU is still pushing unacceptable demands for level playing field provisions to force the UK to obey European rules and access to British fishing waters.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier was also said to have been faced with demands from France, Holland and Belgium to go for no deal similar to the stance taken by many Brexiteers in the UK.