Senior Tories plan to topple Theresa May from the party leadership if she agrees a Brexit deal subjecting Britain to the European Union’s customs regime, according to reports.
Sources have told the right-leaning Telegraph newspaper that, if the Prime Minister agrees to a form of Brexit even weaker than the one envisaged in her current, thrice-rejected deal with the European Union in order to win over enough Labour MPs to pass it, she will be “gone very quickly”.
“People are waiting to see what this deal is, if it happens. That will be the decision point for a lot of MPs when it comes to deciding the Prime Minister’s future,” warned one source described as a “senior minister”.
“It’s going to be very difficult to support any deal Labour would support. It all comes down to the same old problem, that they want a full and permanent customs union, and we made a manifesto pledge to leave the customs union.
“It’s a trust problem for us. Despite what everyone has said about the local election results being bad for Labour, I’m not convinced that Brexit is as much of an issue for Labour with their voters as it is for us.”
'Senior ministers told their Labour counterparts yesterday that Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the European Union already includes a customs union “in all but name”.'
It's good to be able to agree with the Government about something. https://t.co/nMWcb5iQ02
— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) April 5, 2019
Reports indicated that Mrs May had previously tried to persuade the Labour leader to swing behind her deal as it was because she had already agreed to a customs union “in all but name” — which, if true, would indicate that Brexit-supporting MPs who opposed it for exactly that reason were right all along, and that her denials about the deal containing an effective customs union were misleading.
However, as her party was being battered in English local elections in which she lost well over a thousand councillors, the Prime Minister spoke at a Welsh party conference to defend her deal once again, and appears determined to agree even more concessions on customs and commercial policy alignment to the EU in order to just get it ratified and, as she puts it “get on with it”.
The Tories gave a clear manifesto pledge that they would not keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU after Brexit in 2017, as it would leave the bloc in effective control of British trade policy and prevent it from striking new agreements with global partners such as Australia and the United States.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, too, is facing some pushback on the idea of a Brexit deal with the Tories, however — with a large cohort of the left-wing party’s MPs said to be unwilling to support any form of Brexit unless it is subject to a second referendum.
Theresa May First Tory Leader to Face Grassroots Confidence Vote in 185 Years https://t.co/Rue428QRPj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 1, 2019