Ireland plays down impact of David Davis' resignation despite Brexit talks standstill

No-one’s got a clue about Brexit

No-one’s got a clue about Brexit

Britain's Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove talks about the planned cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister's official country residence Chequers later this week, on the BBC radio Today programme in London Thomson Reuters LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's new Brexit plan honors the negotiating red lines of Prime Minister Theresa May and meets the demands of business even if it does not match all the hopes of some anti-EU campaigners, Environment Minister Michael Gove said.

The UK would apply the UK's tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the UK, and the EU's tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the European Union becoming operational in stages as both sides complete the necessary preparations.

But she told MPs: "We do not agree on the best way to deliver our shared commitments to honour the result of the referendum".

The exchanges came in the Commons as Mrs May faced MPs to update them about Brexit in the wake of the resignations of Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Ireland is important because May has promised to avoid border checks between that country and British Northern Ireland, to protect the peace process.

THERESA May sought to bind internal critics into publicly supporting her Brexit policy, sending ministers out to make the case for it in newspapers and on the airwaves, as opponents on both sides began to point out shortfalls with her proposals.

The premier expressed hope the deal would end two years of public splits that sparked exasperation among European leaders and businesses seeking a clear path.

May said her cabinet had also agreed a new business-friendly customs model with freedom to strike new trade deals around the world.

"The only challenge that needs to be made now is to the European Union to get serious about this, to come round the table and discuss it with us", she told the Sunday Times.

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Mr Davis was appointed Brexit secretary in 2016 and was responsible for negotiating the United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU.

"A deal that guarantees us access to the (EU's single market) until such time as we chose regulatory divergence?..."

But Nigel Farage, the founder of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and a key player in the Brexit vote, dismissed the plan as a "sell-out".

Despite his reservations, Mr Johnson fell into line along with the rest of the Cabinet's Brexit-backing ministers.

The veteran Tory eurosceptic Bill Cash told Sky News: "There are a lot of questions in here, there is a lot of unhappiness, there is a great deal of concern that we are saying that we leave - it's not "to be or not to be", it's "to leave or not to leave".

The Sunday Times reported at least one MP had told Johnson in the last 24 hours to resign on principle, warning his chances to be Conservative leader are running out, while others urged Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg to challenge May for the top job.

"I can't support the offer which emerged at Chequers - I think it's a breach of the red lines, in fact the offer is so poor that I couldn't support it even if the European Union were paying us for it", he said. We will end free movement, we will end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, we will stop sending vast sums of money to the European Union every year, we will come out of the Common Agricultural Policy, we will come out of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Scotland's nationalist First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who opposes Brexit, tweeted that it "reads like cherry-picking"-but also welcomed its "realism". That's partly because they can't be sure they have the numbers needed to defeat her. May met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday to restate her wish to negotiate a deep trade and security partnership after Brexit, her spokesman said.

Speaking shortly after two of May's most senior cabinet ministers resigned over her Brexit plan, May said the models on offer from Brussels were unacceptable.

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