Chequers to bring down May?

The Prime Minister needs her Chequers deal to succeed

Daily Telegraph

There's a way out from Chequers for Mrs May

Trading with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules "isn't the end of the world" said Theresa May, during Prime Minister's Questions. She was quoting the WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo, the world's leading trade diplomat.

Azevedo first publicly said those words in a Telegraph interview with me in November 2017. He also described UK-EU trade under WTO rules, with no formal free trade agreement, as "perfectly manageable" - discrediting the doom-mongers who claim Britain must bow to Brussels' every demand as "crashing out" would be "disastrous".

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Is Theresa May dependent on her Chequers deal succeeding?

By Joe Harker

Prime Minister Theresa May has set out her stall on Brexit, claiming that the only two options are her Chequers deal or leaving with no deal. Several key figures in the Tory party are opponents of the Prime Minister's plan for leaving the EU and under increasing pressure she has backed her deal as the only agreement the UK is going for.

The Daily Telegraph reports that May is hoping for Labour MPs unsatisfied with Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn to back her plans and ensure her Chequers deal is passed through the House of Commons.

Certain factions within the Conservatives, including Jacob Rees-Mogg's European Research Group, are clear opponents of the Prime Minister's Brexit plan and are unlikely to give it their approval.

Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, has been a vocal critic of the Chequers deal. He described it as a "suicide vest" and is planning on speaking against it at the Tory party conference later in the month.

The British public are also lukewarm on the Prime Minister's proposals according to a Sky Data poll. Only 18 per cent of the public approve of the Chequers deal, compared to 52 per cent who believe it would be bad for the UK.

The Daily Express reports that a leaked memo reveals the crux of the Prime Minister's argument for supporting her deal. The memo states that since nobody else in the UK has a detailed Brexit plan their opposition and criticism of the Chequers deal struggles to hold water.

However, Rees-Mogg's European Research Group are reportedly planning on publishing their own 100 page proposals for Brexit, pushing for free trade and a solution to the Irish border. The ERG has a membership of 60 Tory MPs who support leaving the EU but do not agree with the Prime Minister's deal.

There are also opponents to the Chequers deal outside the UK. Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, has said May's proposals have "two major problems" that make it unacceptable to the EU. While he said there were positives on many issues, the proposals on customs and regulations are unworkable.

May is therefore going to have to alter her deal soon or head for a no deal Brexit. Both the UK and the EU agree that negotiations need to be resolved by November to avoid the prospect of the UK leaving without a deal. The Prime Minister is standing by her Chequers deal but in doing so risks being dragged down by it in the event of failure.

Even if she can pass her deal through the House of Commons she will have make changes for it to be accepted by the EU. The Chequers deal in its current form is unpopular among the public and Tory MPs, while being condemned as unworkable by the EU. If Theresa May stakes her reputation on the Chequers deal she is likely heading for disaster.

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Daily Telegraph

Theresa May is tied to Chequers. If she can't be flexible, she will go down with it

To survive, the PM can neither go forward with Chequers nor ditch it entirely

The Chequers plan did not happen on a whim. Theresa May ordered the Cabinet to attend a carefully choreographed summit at her countryside retreat. Some sounded off about her proposed Brexit vision, but the Prime Minister got what she wanted out of it: apparent Cabinet unity behind the offer she wanted to make to Brussels.

That pretence of consensus was swiftly marred by Boris Johnson and David Davis walking out and demanding that she chuck Chequers.

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