John Bolton held secret talks with Tory Brexit supporters

Leroy Wright
July 5, 2018

But in a chilling warning to the PM, Mr Rees-Mogg compares her plight to that of Sir Robert Peel, the Conservative prime minister forced to quit after his party revolted over the repeal of the corn laws in the 19th century.

Brexiteer Mr Rees-Mogg, tipped as a potential Tory leader, had used an opinion piece in Monday's Daily Telegraph to warn the Prime Minister she must deliver what she promised - the United Kingdom leaving the single market and customs union and outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice - or risk her administration.

Details of the proposal have not been revealed publicly but senior ministers will discuss it at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat, on Friday, the BBC said.

"Theresa May must stand firm for what she herself has promised", he said in an article in The Daily Telegraph.

Asked whether the white paper would contain a range of policy options or a settled government position, May's spokesman said: "I would expect it to set out what we want to achieve".

"One former Tory leader, Sir Robert Peel, made a decision to break his manifesto pledge and passed legislation with the majority of his party voting the other way".

"At least he did so for a policy that works. At Chequers [Mrs May] must stick to her righteous cause and deliver what she has said she would, she must use her undoubted grace to persevere".

Mr Rees-Mogg's intervention prompted a furious backlash from Remain-voting Tories.

North Dorset MP Simon Hoare told Mr Rees-Mogg he was "simply wrong in his predictions" in a post, adding: "The hectoring nonsense / blackmail has to stop, the reality of parliamentary arithmetic dawn and the calamity of a Corbyn Government woken up to".

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We know that the squares have been full back home and that the people there were really rooting for us. He said: "I hope it is nothing and I can keep going".

"As I enter my third year as Prime Minister I am clear about my mission".

Graham Brady, who chairs the committee made up of back-bench Conservative members of parliament, spoke out just days before May gathers her entire team of front bench ministers for a Brexit showdown.

The Times of London reported Monday that a senior civil servant in the department overseeing negotiations with the EU had briefed ministers on the dire situation, telling them they had no chance of a bespoke trade deal in which British companies would have privileged access to the European market.

A "maximum facilitation" model proposes using trusted-trader arrangements and technology to avoid border checks, while a "customs partnership" system would see Britain collect tariffs on behalf of the European Union for goods heading to the continent.

Their "max fac" alternative would, rather than scrapping customs checks, use technology to minimise the need for them.

The extraordinary exchanges come as Mrs May prepared to try and force a "third way" plan on European Union trade past her warring Cabinet at a special meeting at Chequers on Friday.

Ministers have been mulling two possible options for months, both of which have faced opposition in Brussels and within the cabinet, and media reports suggested Monday that a third option was now being considered.

Two groups of cabinet members have been looking at each of the plans.

Our correspondent says the government has now deemed both options practically or politically undeliverable.

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