Remainer Tory MPs agreed a deal to support Theresa May if she pursued “continued economic alignment” with the EU – only to renege on it today with an amendment attempting to keep us in the customs union.
Guido can reveal that on 1 July, key Remainer Stephen Hammond emailed his ‘Conservative Group for Europe’ of hardcore Remain MPs, outlining the terms of a coordinated threat to Number 10. The Remainers agreed that if the Cabinet backed a soft Brexit with “continued economic alignment” plus a backstop arrangement, they would not put down rebel amendments to the Trade and Customs Bill. Number 10 and the Cabinet went through a lot of pain to agree to the Remainers’ demands. Yet today Remain rebels are reneging on the deal and attempting to defeat the government with their customs union amendment.
From: HAMMOND, Stephen
Sent: 01 July 2018
To: SANDBACH, Antoinette; SOUBRY, Anna; ALLEN, Heidi; WOLLASTON, Sarah; GRIEVE, Dominic; CLARKE, Kenneth; SUGG, Debbie; MASTERTON, Paul; DJANOGLY, Jonathan; NEILL, Bob; MORGAN, Nicky; VAIZEY, Ed; FREEMAN, George; Tom Tugendhat MP; LEE, Phillip; LEFROY, Jeremy; SPELMAN, Caroline; PAWSEY, Mark; STEVENSON, John; HOLLINRAKE, Kevin; CARTLIDGE, James; CHALK, Alex; HEALD, Oliver
Subject: Conservative Group for Europe Meeting on Tuesday
Apologies for the round robin of this email.
Firstly we will have our usual meeting this week at 5 pm on Tuesday , currently scheduled in CR7.
However, more importantly, we have to make the wider voice of Conservatives who want a sensible Brexit and are pro- business heard. Therefore we will probably need to commit to a number of actions this week. I suspect I shall be asking people for help with some different projects.
So as a first task please could everyone make a point to call their Whip to deliver the following message;
The PM has our support if the Cabinet resolves a proposal which not only allows continued economic alignment but that the Cabinet must also agree the Backstop arrangement. The proposal must be one that the EU will say shows progress and are likely to welcome. No more time nor political capital can be spent on foolish Brexiteer schemes.
If the Cabinet can’t agree this then we will force a solution in Trade Bill and the Customs Bill. The only reason a compromise was accepted on meaningful vote was because it delivered what we wanted and we wanted to give the PM the space she asked for at the Council. That Council has now gone and no one should be under any illusion that we will vote against the Government if necessary, as happened in December”.
If anyone has any issue or queries , please do get in touch
Number 10 caved in to all these demands from their ultra-Remainer rebels, pursuing a soft Brexit to get them onside. Even with the ERG amendments yesterday, the government is still heading towards the softest of Brexits and “continued economic alignment”. And still the Remainers are breaking their promise and trying to keep us even closer to the EU. Shows the dishonesty of the Remainers, claiming that the ERG is controlling the government when it is they who have been coordinating threats to force Number 10 into a non-Brexit…