Senior Brexiteers have claimed Theresa May’s plan to farm out a decision on when Britain can leave the customs union is swelling a backbench rebellion against her.
A joint arbitration mechanism on how to end the UK’s participation in the Irish backstop is being drawn up by No10 and EU officials in Brussels to break a talks deadlock.
Ireland and the EU refused the PM’s initial demand that the UK be allowed to walk out of the arrangement to keep the border open after a set period of time if no trade deal is done.
But Jacob Rees-Mogg branded the compromise mechanism – that is likely to involve a joint committee – “a betrayal of the Brexit vote”.
And as word of it spreads among backbench Tory MPs, the boss of the hardline European Research Group said it was acting as a recruiting tool to bolster his 40-strong alliance of backbenchers who have vowed to vote down Mrs May’s softer Brexit deal.
Mr Rees Mogg told The Sun: “It is completely absurd. Brexit means we can already leave the Customs Union when we want to, why should we give that up? It is a breach of faith with the electorate to stay in it under the authority of a third party.”
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