Brexit: Boris Johnson 'criticised' Theresa May's plan for deal with EU

Pro-EU Tory Anna Soubry said she would "always welcome" a policy that delivers a "business friendly Brexit", adding that she had "no doubt" the prime minister would now enforce Cabinet discipline.

Repeatedly pressed on whether the new immigration system would offer preferential access to EU citizens, Mrs May said: "We need to look at that in the context of the wider rules we have for immigration from outside of the European Union and we will decide the rules that are right for the United Kingdom".

However, Tory Brexiteers voiced concern at the agreement with the chairman of the campaign group "Leave Means Leave" accusing May of personally deceiving Brexit campaigners.

After an hours-long meeting at her Chequers country residence, May seemed to have persuaded the most vocal Brexit campaigners in the cabinet to back her plan to press for "a free trade area for goods" with the European Union and maintain close trade ties.

"Next week we will be publishing a white paper which will set out more details of how we will be taking back control of our money, laws and borders".

This would give Britain the right to control its own tariffs and strike trade deals with non-EU nations - including "potentially" joining the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, the document said.

Full details will be published in a white paper on Thursday, with Brussels expecting a round of negotiations in the week commencing July 16.

After nearly 12 hours of talks at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat, May said that "the Cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the EU" - a pronouncement akin to the British government equivalent of white smoke from the Vatican announcing the election of a new pope.

"Up till now what we've seen from Europe are the proposals that they've effectively put to us of being ones that we couldn't accept", she said.

As she held the crisis talks with her ministers, the chief executive of European planemaker Airbus, Tom Enders, accused the government of having "no clue or at least consensus on how to execute Brexit without severe harm".


Mr Rees-Mogg warned that "a very soft Brexit means that we haven't left, we are simply a rule-taker".

Fellow hardliner Andrea Jenkyns said she was "awaiting the detail" of the plansfrom Mrs May before deciding whether to call for a leadership contest.

In a document outlining the government's position, ministers said they had agreed that an earlier proposal made to the European Union "needed to evolve in order to provide a precise, responsible and credible basis for progressing negotiations".

The Prime Minister will address Tory MPs on Monday and her chief of staff Gavin Barwell has been engaged in efforts to explain the Chequers deal to concerned colleagues alongside Chief Whip Julian Smith.

An analysis of the Chequers deal circulating within the pro-Brexit European Research Group of MPs was damning about the plan, saying it would lead to "a worst-of-all-worlds "black hole" Brexit where the United Kingdom is stuck permanently as a vassal state in the EU's legal and regulatory tar pit".

The jurisdiction of the European court of justice (ECJ) over the United Kingdom will end, but trade would be subject to binding independent arbitration in the event of any disputes- and crucially the United Kingdom would take regard of the ECJ as "the interpreter of EU rules".

He said the briefings "will massively calm the nerves of people who have been basing their views on the speculation that has been floating around in the media and social media".

Mr Johnson used colourful language as he made the argument Mrs May's plan would leave the United Kingdom as a "vassal state".

He said he "welcomed proposals from British Government which can input into talks on the future relationship".

"Await detail in white paper late next week before agreeing an European Union position", he said.

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