The prime minister must avoid a “soft Brexit” and ensure the UK is free from all major EU institutions and courts after 2019 or Brexit-supporting backbench MPs could “block” the final divorce settlement, The Bow Group has warned.
The prestigious conservative think tank laid down a series of “red lines” Theresa May must not cross to honour the referendum result and keep Brexiteers on-side, including:
- No divorce payment to the European Union (EU).
- No transition period lasting after March 2019.
- Withdrawal on the 29th of March 2019, whether or not a trade deal has been struck.
- An end to European Court of Justice jurisdiction and free movement of people, and withdrawal from the Single Market and the Customs Union.
Mrs. May has already indicated she is will to pay the bloc tens of billions to cover “existing commitments”, despite there being no clear legal obligation for the UK to do so.
The Prime Minister has also promised “regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which could effectively keep the entire UK tied to Customs Union rules.
With the crucial year for Britain's negotiation with Brussels ahead the #BowGroup & @BrugesGroup will lay out the #BrexitRedLines of Brexiteers for any deal with the EU-tomorrow in the @Daily_Express @DavidPBMaddox
Soft Brexit it ain't
Here's to a prosperous and free 2018!
— Bow Group (@bowgroup) January 1, 2018
The Bow Group, which is the UK’s oldest conservative think tank. claims their demands are backed by around 130 MPs, and with Mrs. May leading a minority government, any rebellion could stall Brexit or even begin a process of her losing power.
Tory MP Sir Bill Cash commented: “My Red Line is a sovereign Parliament nothing less… and that means no jurisdiction of the ECJ over British Courts.”
Peter Bone MP said: “The decision to leave the EU was delegated from Parliament to the People. This government is not delivering the Brexit the British people voted for.”
Fellow Conservative Philip Davies MP added: “Whilst the House of Lords has a Remain majority, they would do well to remember their unelected nature and the potential backlash to their shunning of a majority decision taken by the public. Parliament must act on the will of the people not the Lords.”
Last week, the think tank called for the anti-Brexit Tory Lord Heseltine to have the whip withdrawn and be kicked out of the party after he said Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would deliver a better Brexit for the UK.
“To advocate a vote for Corbyn is simply incompatible with membership of the Conservative party. Indeed, as the Chairman of the Bow Group has said, Heseltine should lose the Conservative Whip in the House of Lords together with his membership,” Bow Group President Lord Norman Tebbit said.