Cabinet minister sparks fury after admitting Theresa May could backtrack on promise to reopen Brexit deal with Brussels
A CABINET minister sparked uproar yesterday after admitting the PM could backtrack on her promise to reopen the Brexit deal with Brussels.
Theresa May vowed to demand the EU reopen the Withdrawal Agreement to make legally binding changes to the hated Irish backstop.
But Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I don’t think it’s the mechanism that matters, it’s the objective.
“If you get to a place where the potential longevity of the backstop, the potential the backstop lasts forever can be dealt with, that’s what we are all seeking to do.”
Tory MP Mark Francois, deputy of the Brexiteer ERG group, said: “If the EU aren’t willing to [re-open the deal], the Withdrawal Agreement won’t go through. We’ll vote it down, it’s that simple.”
Mrs May told MPs on January 29 her plans “will involve reopening the Withdrawal Agreement”.
But Tory Brexiteers fear she is going soft. It follows reports Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay told Michel Barnier that Britain is not asking for it to be reopened.
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Tory Eurosceptic MP Steve Baker said: “Over the next few days, we’ll need to compare what has been said this weekend with what we thought had been promised.”
But No 10 sought to calm Brexiteer jitters by pointing out Mrs May was “working to secure” a Withdrawal Agreement MPs can back.
Meanwhile, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox warned EU leaders are threatening their economies if they fail to reach a Brexit agreement.
Theresa May told MPs that her plans will involve reopening the Withdrawal Agreement but Tory Brexiteers fear she is going soft[/caption]
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