Rout warning over Brexit talks
EU WITHDRAWAL negotiations risk becoming a “rout” unless Theresa May’s Cabinet are willing to compromise at next week’s Chequers summit, a former Brexit minister has warned.
Conservative peer Lord Bridges warned that if ministers were not ready to be honest about the position the UK finds itself in, “the game will be up”.
His comments, in an article for the Evening Standard, come a week ahead of next Friday’s summit at the Prime Minister’s country residence, where Mrs May hopes to secure Cabinet backing for her vision for future relations with the EU.
Meanwhile, a poll for the same paper found public confidence in Mrs May’s ability to get a good deal from Brussels has fallen to a new low.
Just 30% of voters questioned by Ipsos Mori said they were “confident” of the PM securing a good deal – down four points since last month – compared to 67% who said they were not confident (up four).
Lord Bridges, who served as a minister in David Davis’s Department for Exiting the EU, said the Cabinet was currently divided between those who see sovereignty as the most important issue and those regarding access to EU markets as a bigger priority.
“If nothing changes, there’s a danger the UK will have to agree to a withdrawal treaty full of waffle on our future relationship with the EU,” warned Lord Bridges.
“With so little leverage in the next phase, the negotiations would become a rout. Worse, uncertainty will drag on, damaging our economy.”
> Lord Bridges