Cabinet united on Brexit trade strategy: Rudd| MENAFN.COM

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 09:50 GMT

Cabinet united on Brexit trade strategy: Rudd

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Amber Rudd has tried to quell threats by Brexiters of a challenge to Theresa May's leadership following reports that Eurosceptic MPs are getting ready to move against the prime minister if she tries to keep the UK in a customs union.
After claims that Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg could form a 'dream team to stop the prime minister's alleged plan, reported in the Sunday Times, the home secretary said the government would come forward with proposals which would command support across the House of Commons.
'I have a surprise for the Brexiteers which is the (Cabinet) committee that meets in order to help make these decisions is more united than they think, she told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.
'We meet in the committee. We meet privately for discussions. I think that we will arrive at something which suits us all. There will be choices to be made within that but we all want the same thing which is to arrive at a deal which works for the UK.
The damaging row has flared up after the prime minister did not rule out such an arrangement, which would limit Britain's ability to reach free trade agreements with non-EU countries, but failed to say what she thought should happen.
Tensions are running high before a crucial week for Brexit, during which the prime minister and key Cabinet ministers will meet over two days to hammer out details of a final deal that can keep all Tory factions on board.
Asked about a customs union, May told Sky News on Friday: 'What I want to do is ensure that we have got the best possible trade arrangements with China and with other countries around the world once we have left the European Union.
The Sunday Times reported that Johnson had told plotters he would be ready for a future contest and said 'the cavalry is coming to block a customs union plan when the Brexit cabinet committee meets this week.
It is understood that Johnson does plan to argue against a customs union this week but has no plans to challenge May and still openly backs her.
Some Brexiter MPs have confirmed to the Guardian that they are hoping that, at some point, the foreign secretary will form a team with Gove, the environment secretary alongside Rees-Mogg, the leading figure in the Economic Research Group (ERG).
It is understood that Rees-Mogg has distanced himself from reports of a pact with Gove and Johnson.
Rudd acknowledged that a deal would probably involve some form of customs 'arrangement or 'partnership with the EU, but said May had an 'open mind as to how that could be achieved.
'We a want frictionless trade at the border, we want to make sure that there is no border on the island of Ireland and we want to make sure that we can do trade deals outside of the European Union. That is the deal we are looking for, she said.


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