Brexit: It’s getting ‘harder’ for Johnson to compromise says expert
Brexit trade talks between the UK and EU continue to stall with outstanding issues remaining over fisheries and governance ahead of the looming transition period deadline of December 31. Talks between UK chief negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier hit a roadblock on Thursday night after sources close to the discussions said Brussels had brought a fresh set of demands to the table.
The continued impasse has sparked fears Mr Johnson will cave in on UK red-lines with reports already suggesting Britain has made a climbdown on fishing and offered to take back control of just 60 percent of its waters – down from 80 percent.
Tory Brexiteers are keeping a close eye on the talks and one influential eurosceptic has warned there could soon be a plot to oust the Prime Minister by triggering a vote of no confidence if Brexit is not delivered.
Speaking to The Times, they said: “If he lets us down, I’ll send my letter in, it is as simple as that.”
It is understood the influential European Research Group – which led the charge to try and oust Theresa May from office – is waiting to see if the UK is removed from the EU’s legal order.
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In December 2018, Mrs May survived a vote of confidence after a sizeable rebellion from her party – winning the vote by 200 votes to 117.
The win only bought Mrs May another seven months in the top job after resigning in July 2019.
Another leadership challenge would be triggered if 15 percent of Tory MPs wrote a letter of no confidence to the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee of backbenchers.
This would mean 55 out of the 364 Tory MPs would need to turn against the Prime Minister – just a year after winning the general election.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister suffered his biggest rebellion in the Commons after 55 Tory MPs voted against his coronavirus tier system and further 16 abstained.
The window for Brexit negotiations have narrowed in the past 24 hours after the Government announced it would reintroduce the controversial Internal Market Bill to Parliament on Monday.
MPs will be asked to reinstate controversial legislation giving ministers the power to break international law by ignoring provisions in the Brexit withdrawal agreement relating to Northern Ireland.
The legislation aims to protect internal trade within the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit.
The EU has already taken the first steps towards legal action over the legislation and would most likely abandon talks if the bill is successful.
This means both sides have a strict deadline of Sunday night to strike a deal before the UK ramps up no deal planning.
Next Thursday, the EU Council will meet for the final time this year and it is hoped leaders of the EU27 will be able to get their hands on the draft legal text of any potential agreement.
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Speaking this morning, Business Secretary Alok Sharma acknowledge talks had reached a “critical phase” and reiterated the UK’s desire for a deal.
He said: “Right from the start of this process, we’ve always said that a deal can only be done if the EU recognises that the UK is a sovereign independent nation.
“It is on the basis of that a deal will be done.”
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