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Theresa May 'held to ransom' by Brexiteers' letter of demands

Theresa May 'held to ransom' by Brexiteers' letter of demands

In the letter, Conservative MPs warned the United Kingdom must have full control over their laws after Brexit and must not become a "rule taker".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group, met May with some of his colleagues in her 10 Downing Street office on Tuesday to discuss their demands.

May, and urged her to push back against the Brexit-supporters.

The letter to May calls for "full regulatory autonomy" post-Brexit and makes clear that she will have to fight them if she's thinking of allowing European Union regulators to take a role in British affairs, for example in areas such as data sharing.

Indicating that she would fight against a "no deal" Brexit, she told ITV's Peston programme: "Falling out on WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules would not be something that I think would be to the benefit of my constituents here in Edinburgh or in the country as it is".

The letter sets out the MPs' "continued, strong backing" for the vision set out in May's Lancaster House speech in January 2017.

The members of the European Research Group are pushing for a clean break from the EU with "full regulatory autonomy" outside of the European Single Market.




The letter includes "suggestions" for securing a successful Brexit, including "taking control" of World Trade Organisation tariff schedules that regulate trading.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack, Stirling MP Stephen Kerr and Gordon MP Colin Clark were among 62 Conservatives to put their names to the letter.

The MPs also insist the United Kingdom must be "free to start its own trade negotiations" during the planned two-year transition period. "Any implementation period must not restrain the United Kingdom from negotiating or signing other trade agreements".

"The UK should negotiate as an equal partner".

"She is too weak to face down the fanatics in her own party and to deliver a final deal that protects jobs and the economy", said Paul Blomfield, the shadow Brexit minister.

A "Ransom Note" demanding Hard Brexit comes as the Prime Minister and "Soft Brexiteers" have been hoping to reach accommodation with Brussels.

While May hasn't yet formalized her plans, the broad shape of the deal she wants is becoming clear: The U.K. will stay closely aligned to European Union rules in many areas, including manufactured goods, while breaking away immediately in others, such as agriculture and financial services.

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