Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

MPs slam list of 'hard Brexit' demands sent to Theresa May

MPs slam list of 'hard Brexit' demands sent to Theresa May

The letter included a series of suggestions for Theresa May, such as asking for "full regulatory autonomy"; only complying with the EU's vision for a transition period "if the final deal is fully negotiated"; and make sure the United Kingdom can negotiate trade deals with "third countries" as soon as it leaves the EU.

It was sent by the European Research Group of Tory backbenchers, headed by Jacob Rees-Mogg, and was signed by Stone MP Sir Bill Cash and Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was a prominent Remain campaigner ahead of the European Union referendum, and insisted at the weekend that she could "certainly" oppose the United Kingdom government's policy on future European Union relations if she felt it would be damaging.

The members of the European Research Group are pushing for a clean break from the EU with "full regulatory autonomy" outside of the European Single Market.

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The letter includes a number of "suggestions" for securing a successful Brexit, including "taking control" of World Trade Organisation tariff schedules that regulate trading.

"I want to ensure that UK companies have the maximum freedom to trade and operate within German markets, and for German businesses to do the same in the UK", May said after meeting German leader Angela Merkel in Berlin.

May has faced criticism from colleagues who say she lacks vision, while Brexit supporters fear she'll sell them short and tie Britain too closely to European Union rules.

"The UK should negotiate as an equal partner".

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They also said that Britain must not be stopped from negotiating and signing trade deals during any transition period. "Ministers may not want or be able to accept the EU's timing and mandates as fixed, and should be able to set out alternative terms including, for example, building an agreement based on our World Trade Organisation membership instead", it says in the letter.

Labour told the BBC that the letter "exposes the deep divisions that run through the heart of this Tory government". "ERG clearly think they have the prime minister as their hostage", said MP Nicky Morgan, an advocate for a soft Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a potentially unsafe outcry from 62 members of her own party who are demanding a quick, clean break from the European Union, just as she tries to finalize her Brexit plans.

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