Theresa May braced for showdown with Brexit rebels

Theresa May

North Cornwall MP Scott Mann quit as a ministerial aide to the Treasury, the former postman saying he would not "deliver a watered down Brexit".

Greening said that with divisions in the Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party over how to proceed with Brexit, there should be another vote, with the public able to choose between May's plans, a "no-deal" break with the European Union or remaining in the bloc.

Increasingly visible figures such as Jacob Rees-Mogg have branded the prime minister's approach to Brexit negotiations "hopeless" and accused her of allowing too much ground to Brussels.

Last week, members of the hard Brexit group put down four amendments to the taxation (cross-border trade) bill due to be debated on Monday evening, aimed at halting the customs plan announced by May at Chequers nine days ago.

They and other eurosceptic Conservatives say the plan to keep close customs ties with the European Union - which is only a starting point for a second phase of talks with Brussels - betrays her promise of a clean break with the 27-nation bloc after Brexit.

He said: "I can't possibly dress it up in any other words than it's an absolute shambles and a self-inflicted shambles by Number 10".

"I wanted the prime minister's Chequers agreement to be a workable compromise", she wrote in The Times.

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The threat to her position from the Brexiteers should become clear on Monday when they put forward a series of proposals to toughen up the government's customs legislation during a parliamentary debate.

It has also been rejected by some in the pro-EU faction in her party, with former minister Justine Greening calling on Monday for a second Brexit referendum to end the stalemate in parliament over the best future relationship with the bloc. Greening, a former Education secretary who quit May's government in January, is the highest-profile Conservative to support a second vote, though she was not an advocate of leaving the E.U.in the first place.

Amid the resignations of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Brexit Secretary David Davis last week, Greening has concluded that the "only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians".

"My job as Prime Minister is to deliver for them, but also I've got to be hard-headed and practical about this and do it in a way that ensures we get the best interests for the United Kingdom".

He said it was a "well-intentioned attempt to do Brexit whilst minimising the economic disruption", but it would not work and lead to a "confused outcome", with Britain bound by European Union rules but unable to change them. However, this could lead to the prime minister being forced to accept key amendments in opposition to her Brexit plan in order to avoid a full scale rebellion.

"I'm afraid it is neither beloved by Remainers or Leavers".

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