MPs slam list of 'hard Brexit' demands sent to Theresa May

MPs slam list of Brexit demands sent to Theresa May by European Research Group

The letter was sent to Theresa May

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Critics have slammed the Brexit letter sent by Tory MPs to Theresa May as nothing more than a "ransom note."


The list was drawn up by the Conservative European Research Group and was signed by more than 60 backbench MPs. Brexit secretary David Davis, trade secretary Liam Fox and chief whip Julian Smith were also sent a copy.

The letter included a series of suggestions for Theresa May, such as asking for "full regulatory autonomy"; only complying with the EU's vision for a transition period "if the final deal is fully negotiated"; and make sure the UK can negotiate trade deals with "third countries" as soon as it leaves the EU.

The chair of the treasury select committee, Nicky Morgan, claimed "this isn’t a letter, it is a ransom note" and the group must believe it has "the Prime Minister as their hostage."

Morgan is against a hard Brexit, as is fellow remainer Anna Soubry, who said it was “very disappointing" a Tory minority group would choose "to ignore the views of British business and the economic analysis of our Government."

The Prime Minister is to meet with her inner group of ministers tomorrow (February 22) at Chequers in an attempt to make a decision on what to ask the European Commission for in negotiations.

However with a total of 62 people signing the letter of demands, some have suggested the signatories could force a leadership challenge if May does not accede to their demands.

Andrew Bridgen, who was one of the MPs who signed the letter, told Good Morning Britain the piece was not an attempt to hold May hostage.

He claimed the points strengthen "the Government’s negotiating position" and underline "that we are not going to be a rule-taker, we are going to be a rule-maker.

"If we are just going to merely be a vassal state of the European Union, we are not really leaving the European Union".

A source from Downing Street has responded by stating: “We welcome contributions from across the party."