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Brexit in Brief

Henry Anderson

The last full week before Westminster goes into recess was a nail-biting finish for Theresa May, whose Brexit plans only just made it across the line. Here's our roundup of the key developments:

  • The Chequers deal didn't survive contact with the Commons. Brexiteer Conservative backbenchers were able to force the government to amend key pieces of Brexit legislation. Remainers and Leavers claimed the changes torpedoed Theresa May’s plans for the UK to collect customs duties for the EU and sunk any prospect of the UK staying in in the customs union. A rebellion by pro-EU Conservative unhappy at these concessions was, however, narrowly defeated.
  • The Government is ploughing on regardless. Theresa May has insisted the Chequers proposal still stands and has not been altered by the amendments, while Andrea Leadsom said the deal agreed at Chequers is the UK’s “final offer”. On a visit to Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister again rejected the EU’s backstop proposal on the Irish border, calling on Brussels to “evolve” its negotiating position. The Prime Minister is expected to spend her summer break preaching the benefits of her Brexit deal to grassroots Tories.
  • Both sides are stepping up preparations for a No Deal. Taoiseach, Leo Varadkhar, revealed the Irish Republic is drawing up contingency plans while the UK Government is set to publish 70 “technical notices” on how businesses and households can prepare for a no deal Brexit. Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Juncker has called for EU member states and others to “intensify preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes”.
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