Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Duncan Smith urges No 10 to talk to critics of Brexit plan

Duncan Smith urges No 10 to talk to critics of Brexit plan

Economists for Free Trade held a news conference in Parliament Tuesday alongside several leading pro-Brexit lawmakers, including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

"Now is the time for this Conservative government to show how a post-Brexit Britain will be a happy and dynamic economy", said Johnson in a column for the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"You have seen over the summer I think an intensification in the talks, that is obviously something which we called for, and you have seen progress continuing to be made in relation to that withdrawal agreement".

"We can vote down the bad Chequers proposals on Monday and support the government in a vote of confidence on Tuesday". That's been one of the thorniest issues in the Brexit negotiations.

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But EU negotiators have warned that roadblocks remain, including the question of a hard border separating EU member state Ireland and the UK's Northern Ireland, which some say could undermine peace on the island. It is far from certain that this will be the case since the Eurosceptic ERG faction of the Tory party is implacably opposed to the "Chequers agreement".

"Recent comments from the United Kingdom and the European side have been remarkably positive for the British currency, but these negotiations are by no means a straightforward affair and markets should be prepared for more volatility", said Morten Helt, a currency strategist at Danske Bank. British politicians inside May's governing Tory party, as well as in the opposition Labour Party, are preparing to sabotage the agreement.

May's proposals, named for a country house where they were hashed out in July, call for free trade of goods with the European Union, with Britain accepting a "common rulebook" that would apply to those goods.

On Friday he was quoted as saying the European Union was open to discussing other "backstops" on Brexit, especially the Irish border issue, a key hurdle to agreeing a deal.

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"It is absolutely no pleasure whatsoever to me to acknowledge that, but I look at the mood of colleagues and the mood of the Conservative party in the country and I am gravely concerned for the future of our party", Baker said.

"We are ambitious for markets beyond Europe, but at the moment Europe is the ball game", said James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink.

However, the number of jobs lost has not matched the doomsday predictions, and with just six months to go until Britain officially leaves, there are few signs that banks are panicking.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Whether it's through a general election or a popular vote, Mrs May should take her deal on the terms of Brexit and put it back to the people".

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"Of all the years that I've sat in this chair, this coming year is one of the most hard to give guidance on because there is this uncertainty of the Brexit outcome", Associated British Foods finance director John Bason told Reuters.

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