DUP abstain on government finance bill vote

Fighting on Theresa May at the CBI annual conference in London yesterday

Fighting on Theresa May at the CBI annual conference in London yesterday

The confidence and supply agreement negotiated by Foster kept May in number 10 after her Conservative party failed to secure a majority at last year's general election.

The PM told her cabinet on Tuesday she was exploring alternatives solutions to maintain a soft border on the island of Ireland as she seeks to stave off a confidence vote from mutinous backbenchers.

'All mouth and no trousers'Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg speaks after requesting a vote of no-confidence in the British Prime Minister.

Commenting after the debate, she said: "I am very concerned about this proposed deal for many reasons - including what this deal will mean for our friends, neighbours and co-workers who come from the EU27 and have made Oxford their home".

But on Monday, the eurosceptic European Research Group, which has waged a concerted media campaign to keep up the pressure, appeared distinctly less ebullient.

A junior minister said that the government would publish an economic impact assessment which will compare the impact of May's proposed deal with both the status quo of current European Union membership and a "no-deal" scenario.

The votes, he said, were "designed to send a political message to the government: Look we've got an agreement with you but you've got to keep your side of the bargain otherwise we don't feel obliged to keep ours".

Warning shot Karen Bradley said a no-deal will be bad for businesses
Warning shot Karen Bradley said a no-deal will be bad for businesses

"Instead of a system based on where a person is from, we will have one that is built around the talents and skills a person has to offer".

But unless Mrs May performs a shocking U-turn, or there is a new prime minister, it would be down to Parliamentary manouvering to get a vote on it, which might not pass, although Labour has not ruled out backing a referendum.

"If we can not close this deal on reasonable terms, we need to be very honest with the country that we will not be bribed and blackmailed or bullied and we will walk away", wrote Raab, who is seen as one of the contenders for the post of PM if May is ousted. And what the European Union offered us fits within their framework of law and the red lines which determine what a true Brexit would be.

Noting how leading Tory Remainers such as Nick Boles are also unsatisfied with Chequers, he said: "It's inconceivable to me the Conservative Party either in the country or in parliament is capable of uniting around Chequers". The Government has insisted there are no plans in place for Border infrastructure.

He added: "I don't see why there would be the accidental risk of no-deal".

Earlier, Justice Secretary David Gauke dismissed Mr Baker's claims 80 MPs would vote down the Chequers plan in parliament.

Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could torpedo an agreement, thrusting the economy into a no-deal void that they say would weaken the West, spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.

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