THERESA May is to confront key Leave campaigners Boris Johnson and Michael Gove over what Britain’s relationship with the EU will be like after Brexit.
The Cabinet are set to discuss the vision for the ‘end state’ relationship at a meeting in Downing Street on December 19 following this week’s successful negotiation over the divorce bill.
AFP and Licensors 3 Theresa May and the Cabinet are to discuss Britain’s ‘end state’ relationship with the EU on December 19
Ministers will lay out competing ideas as they try to figure out a plan that satisfies the will of the people and business desires to maintain a close economic relationship with Europe.
There are thought to be two main camps with one backing a ‘softer’ plan, supported by chancellor Philip Hammond and home secretary Amber Rudd, versus a ‘harder’ one.
The latter is argued by foreign secretary Boris Johnson and environment secretary Michael Gove who were two of the most influential campaigners for Leave during the referendum.
Yesterday morning the prime minister went to Brussels to secure a deal with Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission, who have been negotiating on behalf of EU countries.
PA:Press Association 3 Boris Johnson. a key Leave campaigner, backs a ‘harder’ Brexit than some colleagues
Under the terms, Britain will pay a sum of between £35 billion and £39 billion, allow the ECJ a legal role for eight years after withdrawal, and ensure there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
The deal will be discussed by leaders of the EU’s 27 countries next week who will decide whether negotiations can then move onto the topic of trade.
This trading agreement will be the issue at the centre of the ‘end state’ relationship to be discussed in Cabinet on December 19.
Last night Michael Gove said that voters will be able to force changes to any Brexit deal at the next election if they do not like it.
Getty Images – Getty 3 The foreign secretary is supported in his position by the environment secretary Michael Gove
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Gove said: “The British people will be in control. If the British people dislike the agreement that we have negotiated with the EU, the agreement will allow a future government to diverge.”
He added that after a transition period, the UK would have “full freedom to diverge from EU law on the single market and customs union”.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said this week’s events proved the EU wanted a free trade deal with the UK.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The EU recognises that they really do need and want a free trade arrangement with the UK and they were prepared to do what was necessary to get it.”
Labour said they supported the deal achieved by Mrs May but that it should have been secured earlier.
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner also criticised the agreement on the Irish border issue.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Quite frankly, it is difficult to see that this is anything other than a fudge.”
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