Britain's Gove says Brexit plan is a realistic compromise
Britain's Gove says Brexit plan is a realistic compromise
Theresa May proposes tying Britain to the EU indefinitely on customs
Credit Sean Gallup Getty Images Europe
09 July, 2018, 05:25
Gove's decision to back the prime minister was understood to have played a key role in persuading his fellow cabinet Brexiters to agree to the plan, which includes a new customs proposal and a free trade area for goods, although he said the government must also do more to prepare for a "no-deal" Brexit.
"It is not practicable in customs terms to guarantee free goods transit between the European Union and Britain as well as own free trade agreements with third countries, as Britain wants", said Thilo Brodtmann, head of Germany's Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA).
But Brexiteer critics of the plan, which will be set out in full in a white paper on Thursday, could be prepared to move against the Prime Minister after becoming frustrated with the lack of resistance from Eurosceptics in the Cabinet.
But there were signs of a backlash among some lawmakers from May's Conservative Party on Sunday including leading anti-EU campaigner Jacob Rees-Mogg, who said the proposal could be worse than Britain leaving the bloc with no deal.
"An egg that is very softly boiled isn't boiled at all".
"I am a realist", Gove told the BBC.
"That is not something that this country voted for, it is not what the prime minister promised", he told BBC radio.
The plan "crosses numerous supposed red lines" outlined by the Prime Minister, but said "we're not there yet" when asked if he would be demanding a vote of confidence in Mrs May.
A small group of Tory backbenchers appeared to be satisfied after meeting on Saturday morning with chief whip Julian Smith and Mrs May's chief of staff Gavin Barwell to discuss the deal.
"Pragmatism has come to mean defeatism", he said.
He said the briefings "will massively calm the nerves of people who have been basing their views on the speculation that has been floating around in the media and social media".
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The document has not been endorsed by the ERG but was "devastating", a Brexiteer source said.
Vicky Ford urged colleagues not to get "hot under the collar" until they had seen the details.
The Prime Minister said that "collective responsibility has returned" to the Cabinet after the Chequers deal and it was now important to get on with negotiating with the EU.
"One of the things that does concern me is that the cabinet indicates that it would cause problems in striking an agreement with the U.S.".
"This is simply saying that we will effectively sell the same products across Europe as we do now - it's what business does and would do anyway, nobody produces a different product for one country".
Britain proposes that it would "apply the UK's tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the United Kingdom, and the EU's tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the EU". One cabinet minister told the Guardian: "He was actually very big about it and by dinner spoke passionately in favour of making it work".
Theresa May has shown strength and courage in facing down Tory Brexiteers to get Cabinet agreement on pursuing a de-facto single market in goods with the European Union after Brexit without so much as a squeak from Ministers.
This arrangement would eliminate the need for customs checks and controls between Britain and the European Union, "as if a combined customs territory", while giving Britain the right to control its own tariffs and strike trade deals with non-EU nations.
Michael Gove has urged Tory MPs to back a compromise Brexit plan as the best chance of a "proper" exit from the EU.
Former Brexit minister David Jones has said he is anxious Theresa May's plans for UK-EU relations after Brexit could harm any trade deal with the US.
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he was looking forward to the publication of the white paper and the EU would consider whether the proposals are "workable and realistic".
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