Britain's Gove says Brexit plan is a realistic compromise

Britain's Gove says Brexit plan is a realistic compromise

The letters were apparently not orchestrated by Jacob Rees-Mogg or his European Research Group (ERG) faction of Tory backbenchers, which comprises the bulk of the parliamentary party's Brexiteers, but were a "spontaneous" response to the Prime Minister "traducing those who voted to leave [the] EU".

Pro-EU Tory Anna Soubry said she would "always welcome" a policy that delivers a "business friendly Brexit", adding that she had "no doubt" the prime minister would now enforce Cabinet discipline.

The Independent newspaper Sunday also reported the prospect of May facing the threat of a leadership contest amid mounting anger from Brexiteers over her government's Brexit policy.

Davis' resignation was also accompanied by the resignation of his deputy, Brexit minister Steve Baker, according to the Telegraph.

Theresa May defended the Brexit deal struck at Chequers as Downing Street stepped up efforts to win Tory Eurosceptic support for the plan that will keep the United Kingdom closely tied to Brussels.

"Today in detailed discussions the cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the European Union", the prime minister said.

The Prime Minister's inner circle is trying to secure support for the proposals to create a new UK-EU free trade area for goods, with a "common rulebook".

Some Brexit-supporting legislators are angry at the proposals, saying they will keep Britain tethered to the bloc and unable to change its rules to strike new trade deals around the world.

- Davis led Britain's negotiations in Brussels on the terms of the European Union divorce, and the future relationship with the bloc.

On Friday, Davis and the rest of May's fractious Cabinet finally agreed on a plan for future trade ties with the EU.

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The staunchly pro-Brexit Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: "Fantastic news".

May replied to his letter to say she did not agree "with your characterization of the policy we agreed at cabinet on Friday".

But Davis had expressed his unease over a compromise plan right up until the eve of the meeting, writing a letter to May describing her proposal to ease trade and give Britain more freedom to set tariffs as "unworkable".

William Wragg, another backbench Eurosceptic said: "I've reserved judgement on the Chequers' Brexit plan, but I have grave misgivings about it and understand entirely why David Davis has found it necessary to resign".

Brexiteer Cabinet minister Michael Gove admitted the plan was not everything he had hoped for, but he was a "realist" and the Prime Minister's lack of a Commons majority meant the "parliamentary arithmetic" was a factor in deciding what could be adopted.

"We need to make sure this is now a game changer for Brexit".

May will have a key meeting with members of her Tory party to discuss her plan in Parliament on Monday.

One colleague said that the Brexit secretary seemed grumpy. "A very soft Brexit means that we haven't left, we are simply a rule-taker", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He warned her that the common rulebook proposal could make "trade deals nearly impossible" if it meant regulations would have to apply to any goods coming into the UK.

"Obviously if the Government and the Prime Minister continue to support that very poor offer then I won't have any confidence in the Government or the Prime Minister", Mr Bridgen said.

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