Theresa May faces guerilla tactics from Brexit rebels

Peter Bone David Davis

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit minister David Davis quit at the start of this week in protest over the strategy. He will describe the white paper as "a vision that respects the result of the referendum, and delivers a principled and practical Brexit".

They will demand the government scrap its offer to collect tariffs on behalf of the European Union when the Customs Bill returns for debate - a crucial element of the prime minister's plan for a "facilitated customs arrangement".

A final one - supported by a DUP MP - requires the Government to commit itself in law not to allow a customs border down the Irish Sea.

The other amendments would require the government to draw up primary legislation if the United Kingdom wants to remain in the EU customs union; the fourth would require the United Kingdom to have an independent regime for Value-Added Tax.

Following Mr Johnson and Mr Davis's resignations, two deputy chairmen of the Conservatives - Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield - quit their posts on Tuesday, claiming the PM's proposals would not harness the benefits of Brexit. "I believe this will help the government stick to the promises it made", the MP told the Sun.

They are planning a show of strength in the Commons next week in votes on the Prime Minister's flagship Trade Bill. Does she rely on Labour votes to achieve Brexit or does she change her mind and go back to Lancaster House.

She was forced to show humility again after calling an early general election in June previous year only to lose her party's majority after a wooden performance on the campaign trail.

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Asked at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels yesterday if she expected more resignations from the government, Mrs May insisted that her plan delivered on the Brexit "red lines" she has set out.

It led to a string of resignations from pro-Leave campaigners, including former senior Cabinet ministers Boris Johnson and David Davis.

However the Daily Mail reported that Mr Rees-Mogg said Mr Johnson would make a "brilliant" prime minister. Only two MPs (both long-time vocal May critics) have so far admitted to sending letters of no confidence to Graham Brady at the 1922 committee, and there are no signs that more will follow suit. However, it is far fewer than half of the party's 316 MPs, the number required to win such a vote.

But leading Eurosceptic Bernard Jenkin played down the prospects of more walkouts from Mrs May's administration. The Conservatives now have 316 MPs so 48 of them would need to write such letters to challenge May. "We are supporting Theresa for PM".

"I think, and I'm delighted, that good sense seems to be breaking out", Lord Howard told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Mr Watson said Labour was keeping the option of a second Brexit referendum open in the case that Parliament could not decide a way forward, though he stressed that this route was "highly, highly unlikely".

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