Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 6 hours, 1 minute ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
May under pressure to break impasse
December 08, 2017
 Print    Send to Friend

LONDON: Theresa May has been forced to slap down her Chancellor after he claimed the £45 billion Brexit divorce bill will be paid even if no EU trade deal is struck, opening up a fresh cabinet split.

The Prime Minister sided with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, who only signed up to handing over the huge sum if Brussels delivers a favourable trade agreement in return.

“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and that applies to the financial settlement,” her spokesman insisted - just an hour after Philip Hammond described not paying as “inconceivable.”

Any suggestion that Britain will pay up with no trade guarantees would spark fury among Tory Brexiteers who are piling pressure on Ms May to walk away from the talks if the EU refuses to bend.

Brussels toughened its position on EU citizens’ rights after Brexit, requesting a 15-year oversight role for the European Court of Justice - another move opposed by London.

After months of prevarication, the government agreed, last week, to pay the EU around £45bn to settle its financial obligations to the EU.

To calm Tory anger, Liz Truss, the Treasury Chief Secretary, pledged that the payment was “contingent on getting a suitable outcome from those negotiations.”

But, giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, Hammond said: “I find it inconceivable that we as a nation would be walking away from an obligation that we recognised as an obligation.”

He added: “That’s not the kind of country we are and frankly it would not make us a credible partner in future international agreements.”

No.10 moved quickly to dismiss Hammond’s view, keen to avoid antagonising the likes of Johnson and Gove and to preserve the Cabinet’s delicate agreed position.

The Foreign Secretary and the Environment Secretary are also the loudest cabinet voices arguing for a clean break from the EU’s economic structures.

The likes of Mr Hammond want much deeper access, even at the price of adopting more EU rules and regulations - a crucial decision Ms May has postponed until now.

The Chancellor told the committee: “The cabinet has had general discussions about our Brexit negotiations, but we haven’t had a specific mandating of an end-state position.”

But he defended the delay until the talks moved on to trade in phase two, adding: “It would have been premature to have that discussion before we reach that stage.”

The admission was quickly condemned as “beyond parody” by Labour MP Alison McGovern, a supporter of the pro-EU Open Britain group.

“The government is flailing around trying to get agreement to move on to talks on the future UK-EU relationship,” she said.

“Yet they don’t even know what they want that relationship to be once they make that progress. They are breathtakingly dysfunctional.”

No.10 said the cabinet discussion - inflamed by a dispute over the extent of “regulatory alignment” needed to satisfy fears over the Irish border - would take place later this month.

Earlier, Davis sparked uproar when he was hauled before the Brexit Select Committee to explain his failure to hand over 58 sectoral assessments, as required by Parliament.

In June, he had claimed they had been completed, later saying the Prime Minister had read “summary outcomes” of assessments that went into “excruciating detail.”

The Independent

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
UK to propose new language on Irish border
DUBLIN: British Prime Minister Theresa May told her Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar that she would propose suggestions to Brexit negotiators over the next 24 hours to try ..
Trump hits out at May over tweets
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump publicly upbraided British Prime Minister and ostensible ally Theresa May late on Wednesday, rebutting her criticism of anti-Muslim ..
May faces fresh claims of ‘rigging House’
LONDON: Theresa May faces fresh allegations of “rigging Parliament” over a near-unprecedented move to prevent MPs amending the Budget. Labour has accused the Prime Min..
Landlords threaten to ban May from pubs
LONDON: Theresa May could be banned from every pub in her constituency following anger from bar owners over police cuts. Landlords have reportedly banded together to k..
May given 10 days to improve her offer
LONDON: Liam Fox has been ridiculed over claims that British businesses are harming the economy as they do not want to export their goods abroad. The International Tra..
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright