The Prime Minister is considering locking the UK in a customs union with the European Union after Brexit and keeping the nation tied to the bloc’s extensive environmental and labour laws, according to claims.
Theresa May plans to bind her cabinet at a meeting next Tuesday to the raft of new concessions, sources told The Times, and they could be included in the fresh Brexit blueprint to be produced before European leaders meet next week.
She will claim the customs union arguments will be temporary and the UK will eventually leave and take back control of trade policy.
On the potential customs arrangement and areas of EU law that the UK must bow to after Brexit, one source told the newspaper: “Will they ‘do a Chequers’ and say back it or f*** off?”
Some cabinet Brexiteers have suggested they would resign over following environmental and labour laws, but the customs union concessions are more likely to be agreed at this late stage of negotiations.
On Tuesday, the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was reportedly considering delayed publishing a fresh version of the bloc’s Brexit plan in anticipation of more concessions from the British.
And last week, sources claimed the bloc wants to help Mrs May get a Brexit deal through parliament if she abandons her “red lines” and makes more concessions and avoids a “no deal” Brexit or Canada-style free trade deal favoured by Brexiteers.
Former Brexit Minister: 80 Tories Ready Vote Down May’s ‘Half-in-Half-Out’ Brexit https://t.co/wWyzPMj4tG
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 9, 2018
Negotiators are also reportedly considering a new so-called ‘evolution clause’ that will insist the EU remain open to change should the British wish to make further alterations or concessions during the 21-month transition.
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, home secretary Sajid Javid, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, and environment secretary Michael Gove could either back or reject the new concession.
All four, however, believe Mrs May might have to move towards a Canada-style deal if the EU rejects Chequers again, with the majority of the cabinet now favouring a trade deal over Mrs May’s soft Brexit plan.
On Tuesday, former Brexit secretary David Davis warned Tory MPs they face dire electoral consequences if they continued to back Mrs May’s Chequers Brexit plan and slammed her argument that it is the only option apart from “no deal”.