Theresa May's top Brexit negotiator warns 'no chance' of bespoke trade deal with EU as Jacob Rees-Mogg threatens coup

Oliver Robbins – the PM's top mandarin in Brussels divorce talks – said secretaries of state have to be "realistic" about what they can achieve.

His comments, revealed by the Times, further threatens a backlash from Leave-backing cabinet colleagues and backbench MPs including Brexit flag-bearer Jacob Rees-Mogg.

He warned that Mrs May risks a Tory rebellion unless she stumps up on the type of clean-cut Brexit "she herself has promised", The Telegraph reported.

The potential climbdown on seeking a tailor-made trade deal with Europe risks tying the UK to current EU rules and regulations.

It could mean British businesses will have to abide by Brussels mantras if they want to sell their goods in the EU — and we could still be tied to free movement rules.

Ministers were given the warning at crunch government talks at the PM's Chequers country pile.

They were told they may have to choose a Norway-style deal in which Britain stays in the EU-run single market or strike a free trade deal that does not favour Brit businesses, The Times said.


Mrs May is trying to thrash out an agreement with her cabinet about what to aim for from Brexit.

But Mr Rees-Mogg, who leads about 60 backbench rebels, wrote in the Daily Telegraph his colleagues will vote against Mrs May’s deal if she fails to “deliver what she has said she would”.
He wrote: "At Chequers [Mrs May] must stick to her righteous cause and deliver what she has said she would, she must use her undoubted grace to persevere.”

Greg Clark says ministers will be 'guided by the evidence' on the Brexit transition period



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