EU's chief Brexit negotiator says deal possible by November

Clay Curtis
September 14, 2018

Lawmakers from British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party can vote against her Brexit plans without it being a vote of confidence in her government, the head of an influential group of pro-Brexit lawmakers said on Tuesday.

Theresa May should leave office once she has agreed a Brexit deal with Brussels and steered it through parliament, according to her former policy chief.

Lawmakers from the European Research Group (ERG), a grouping in May's Conservative Party which wants a sharper break with the EU, met on Tuesday night and openly discussed May's future.

A spokesman for May declined to comment on the report.

And speaking at the same event as Mr Freeman, ERG chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg reiterated his support for Mrs May, telling the audience his party should "hang on" to the PM.

Sarah Wollaston, chairwoman of the Commons Health Select Committee, said Mr Johnson was not "fit to lead the country" and indicated she would quit the party if he became prime minister.

EU leaders have issued instructions to their negotiator three times since the 2016 Brexit referendum, framing the union's collective response to divorce issues, the transition, and the terms of a non-binding "political declaration" on future relations.

"The treaty is clear, we have two years to reach an agreement before they leave... in March 2019".

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European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU will not allow Britain to participate only in some parts of the bloc's single market after Brexit without honouring all of the rules.

He said the party's annual conference in Birmingham, starting on September 30, could prove a decisive moment as Mrs May is forced to acknowledge the scale of grassroots opposition to her proposals.

Economists for Free Trade held a news conference in Parliament Tuesday alongside several leading pro-Brexit lawmakers, including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution - and handed the detonator to Michel Barnier. Under Conservative rules, a leadership election is triggered if 15 percent of Conservative lawmakers, now 48 out of its 315 members of parliament (MPs), demand a vote of no confidence.

The biggest obstacle still to be resolved in the talks is the question of how to avoid customs checks and police at the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, once the United Kingdom has left the bloc.

In a sign the Government remained committed to its plan, he told BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I think the only deal that we've got on the table, that's the Chequers deal".

The UK manufacturing output fell -0.2% in July, missing the expectations of 0.2% rise, while UK trade deficit came out better than expected reaching £2.8 billion in July.

However, the Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday that May's office was drawing up secret plans to ditch her Chequers blueprint if European Union leaders reject it at a summit next week.

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