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May to rush final deal through in weeks to fight off Tory rebellion


Added on 04/10/2018

(Express) -- May is planning to rush her ‘Chequers’ Brexit deal through Parliament in weeks in the latest desperate attempt to stave off opposition to it from rebel Conservatives.

Financial news service Bloomberg is reporting the Prime Minister’s team want the final withdrawal agreement signed off by lawmakers within two weeks of the terms being agreed with the European Union.

This would mean MPs would vote on whether to accept or decline her proposals by the beginning of December following a summit of EU leaders on the weekend of November 17-18.

Ministers believe reaching a deal quickly will provide enough time to pass important legislation through Parliament before the UK exits the bloc on March 29.

But Mrs May will face opposition, and there are doubts whether she will be able to get a final deal passed in Parliament as rushing it through would open her up to accusations she is denying lawmakers the chance to scrutinise the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU.

The Prime Minister used her speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on Wednesday to issue a rallying cry for ministers to unite and back her plan following weeks of party feuding.

But former Brexit minister Steve Baker, who quit over her much-criticised Chequers plan along with Boris Johnson and David Davis, urged her to avoid a political “accident” and rethink her approach to negotiations with Brussels.

He warned her plan could still be defeated in Parliament, even if only half of the 80 Conservative MPs who have indicated their opposition to it go ahead and vote it down.

Mr Baker told ITV’s Peston programme: "We don't want to have this accident. We are trying very hard to avoid these circumstances arising.

"Voting against a Chequers-based deal would be quite a high bar, I am not going to deny that. But what I am saying is that even if the whips did fantastically well and got the numbers down to 40 it still seems to me that it will be voted down.

"I am trying very hard to avoid that by being very plain with everybody on the record what I expect to happen if a Chequers-based deal comes back."

Nigel Farage has launched a scathing attack on the EU, claiming Brussels would rather “die in battle” and lose” than reform.

The former Ukip leader shut down calls from Remainers to stay in the European Union and reform – insisting the Brussels bloc will “not surrender”.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Mr Farage said: “There is no reform. They would rather die in battle than reform.

“Because reform would be not accepting that we had to have a new flag, a new anthem, a new army, a new European state because that has been there intention all along.

“They will not surrender any of those goals.

“They will fight on with the absolute belief that they will win because of the money and power that they have got, but they will lose.”

Nissan has warned there will be "serious implications" for Britain's manufacturing industry if Britain leaves the EU without a trade deal.

The Japanese manufacturer, which built nearly a third of Britain's 1.67m cars last year, operates the country's largest automotive factory.

It said in a statement: "Today we are among those companies with major investments in the UK who are still waiting for clarity on what the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU will look like.

"As a sudden change from those rules to the rules of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) will have serious implications for British industry.

“We urge UK and EU negotiators to work collaboratively towards an orderly balanced Brexit that will continue to encourage mutually beneficial trade."