Brexit: Back me or we hold an election, PM told rebels

Brexit: Back me or we hold an election, PM told rebels

In one of her most challenging days as a PM, the Tory leader on Thursday night just narrowly managed to scrape through a crunch parliamentary vote on her customs plan - which would see the United Kingdom leaving the EU customs union.

Conservative International Trade Minister Liam Fox argued that the legislation will provide "stability and continuity" to companies until the United Kingdom can reach its own trade deals at the end of the 21-month transition period following Brexit, which will be enacted on March 29, 2019.

The MP for Morley and Outwood in West Yorkshire acidly enquired "at what point it was decided that Brexit means Remain?" - drawing shouts from across the chamber.

Theresa May faced claims from her backbenchers of deciding "Brexit means Remain" before Jeremy Corbyn slammed the "war" raging inside the Conservative Party. It shows what chaos this Government is in.

The Labour leader said the Chequers agreement that was "supposed to unite the Cabinet led to the Cabinet falling apart within 48 hours".

A member of the opposition Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, who is on maternity leave, accused the government of reneging on a deal that should have ensured her absence would not impact the vote.

The Trade Bill later passed its third reading by a comfortable margin of 317 to 286 and will go on to the House of Lords.

No current or former ministers who were involved in the campaign have been referred to the police.

Mrs May also said talks had started with Brussels based on the proposal set down in a white paper policy document last week after her divided government thrashed out a deal at her Chequers country residence.

In an interview with the BBC, the company's global external manufacturing, Juliette White, said it is preparing to set up duplicate labs in the United Kingdom and European Union, and now has more than 30 people working on preparations for Brexit.

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Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump said Mrs May needed a "carve out" in any Brexit agreement to ensure the United Kingdom can make a deal with the US.

"This Government will never stand for that", she said.

By prevailing in Tuesday's vote, she avoided for now the prospect of having to go back on her word that Britain will not be part of any customs union after leaving the EU - something that would have enraged the pro-Brexit wing of her party.

"We dithered and we burned through our negotiating capital", he told MPs.

Mrs May replied: "Let me tell you what I've been doing over the last week".

Laughter erupted as Labour MP Emma Hardy (Hull West and Hessle) was heard to shout: "Panicking". "We have put forward a proposal for what the future relationship should be. and we are in negotiations on the basis of that".

Since the Chequers agreement, May had lost ten government members, including from the cabinet Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign minister Boris Johnson.

When a photo shoot was staged for Johnson's signing of his resignation letter, murmurs of leadership ambitions swirled again. "We will now reflect on this amendment and seek to revisit in the Lords".

"Problem is, I don't think that she's in charge anymore".

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