Guto Bebb: MP resigns as minister over Brexit vote

Theresa May

"The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people", she said in an article for The Times.

The votes in parliament's lower House of Commons come as Britain's new Brexit minister Dominic Raab heads to Brussels this week for his first talks with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

But Mrs May insisted the amendments do not change the blueprint agreed at her country residence.

The size of the threat to her position should become clear on Monday when eurosceptic lawmakers put forward a series of proposals to toughen up the government's customs legislation during a parliamentary debate.

The amendments relate to the customs section of the prime minister's Brexit plan, unveiled at a meeting of ministers at Chequers last week.

Her recent white paper outlining plans for a "common rule book" with the European Union over trade in goods has infuriated those who favour a complete break.

Instead of facing them down and fuelling tensions, her spokesman said the government would accept their four amendments.

The amendments to be voted on Monday are unlikely to pass without Labour support, but they represent a show of power by Brexiteer MPs toward the prime minister.

"There is no way a government white paper can stipulate that 27 other countries are going to collect our tariffs for us".

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr, May indicated she would seek to fight off any challenge that emerged before the summer recess, saying: "I want to focus people's minds on how you ensure you achieve that prize, the benefits of leaving the European Union".

A Labour source told HuffPost: "Theresa May sounds like she is running scared of her own MPs".

Pro-EU Conservatives have also tabled objections to the customs and trade bill, while former education secretary and remainer Justine Greening has called for a second referendum.

Boris Johnson, a rival to May, quit last week as foreign secretary in protest, while the man who had been leading the Brexit negotiations, David Davis, also quit in protest.

"My job as Prime Minister is to deliver for them, but also I've got to be hard-headed and practical about this and do it in a way that ensures we get the best interests for the United Kingdom".

"It's also quite likely to be either rejected by the European Union or more demands will be made upon it so it will be even less acceptable". Asked if any other senior Tories backed a second referendum, she said: "Yes I believe so".

Conservative former Cabinet minister Ken Clarke told MPs that the Government's adoption of ERG amendments was "directly inconsistent with the white paper of a week ago".

Greening said such a vote was the only way to break the stalemate in parliament over the best future relationship with the bloc and branded May's plan as "a fudge I can't support".

The official was due to be quizzed over his role in drawing up Mrs May's Brexit plan and is said to have clashed repeatedly with former EU Exit Secretary David Davis.

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