Bri­tish PM Theresa May faces fresh threat of Brexit re­bel­lion

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Lon­don, UK - Lead­ing Brexit sup­port­ers on Wed­nes­day de­nied re­ports they were ma­noeu­vring to re­move Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May - while step­ping up op­po­si­tion to her plan to with­draw Bri­tain from the EU.

Up to 50 of May’s Con­ser­va­tive MPs held a meet­ing late on Tues­day at which they re­port­edly openly dis­cussed how to un­seat her, amid anger over her pro­posal to keep close trade ties with the Euro­pean Union af­ter Brexit.

“There’s a great deal of anx­i­ety among col­leagues in par­lia­ment,” for­mer Brexit min­is­ter Steve Baker, who chaired the meet­ing, told AFP.

He said how­ever he per­son­ally was no part of any lead­er­ship chal­lenge, while an­other MP who at­tended said only five or six MPs openly dis­cussed re­mov­ing May.

The meet­ing was held by Euro­pean Re­search Group (ERG) of MPs, which is out­lin­ing al­ter­na­tives to the prime min­is­ter's plan.

ERG leader Ja­cob Rees-Mogg, who did not at­tend Tues­day’s meet­ing, told re­porters at an event on Wed­nes­day that he wanted May to stay on.

“I have long said, and re­peated again and again, that the pol­icy needs to be changed but I am sup­port­ing the per­son,” he said.

For­mer Brexit sec­re­tary David Davis, who quit the gov­ern­ment over May’s plan in July, told the same event: “We have got a very good prime min­is­ter and, like Ja­cob, I dis­agree with her on one is­sue - this is­sue.”

May has also faced strong op­po­si­tion in Brussels to her plan to main­tain EU rules on trade in goods when Bri­tain leaves the bloc’s sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union af­ter Brexit in March next year.

She will meet other EU lead­ers at an in­for­mal sum­mit in Salzburg, Aus­tria, next week, ahead of a for­mal sum­mit in Brussels in mid-Oc­to­ber.

Both sides hope to reach a deal by early Novem­ber on the terms of the di­vorce and the out­lines of a fu­ture trad­ing re­la­tion­ship.

Bri­tish euroscep­tics want a straight­for­ward free trade agree­ment with the EU, but this has raised ques­tions of how to avoid bor­der checks in Ire­land.

(AFP)

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May

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