Duncan Smith urges No 10 to talk to critics of Brexit plan


Steve Baker, a former junior Brexit minister who resigned over May's so-called Chequers proposals on Brexit, told the Press Association he was not advocating a change of leader but said May faced a massive problem at the September 30-Oct. Under Conservative rules, a leadership election is triggered if 15 percent of Conservative lawmakers, now 48 out of its 315 members of parliament (MPs), demand a vote of no confidence.

Other Conservatives have given much more modest estimates of the number of lawmakers who oppose her plans.

"The treaty is clear, we have two years to reach an agreement before they leave... in March 2019".

The boss of Jaguar Land Rover, Ralf Speth, said at the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham that a hard Brexit would cost his company "more than £1.2billion a year" and his workforce tens of thousands of jobs.

Business groups and civil servants say a "no-deal" Brexit could cause disruption to shipping, barriers to trade with the bloc, a fall in the value of the pound and even shortages of essential goods.

Johnson said: "We have opened ourselves to perpetual political blackmail".

He added: "The key point is the (European) Commission has to be prepared to come to that party and say, "yes, we are prepared to show some flexibility on this", so that there can be a UK-wide free trade deal".

At a conference in the Alpine lake resort of Bled in northwestern Slovenia, Michel Barnier said a Brexit deal was "not far" and that some 80 per cent of the withdrawal agreement had been agreed.

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It is absolutely no pleasure whatsoever to me to acknowledge that, but I look at the mood of colleagues and the mood of the Conservative party in the country and I am gravely concerned for the future of our party.

In order to win the trust of younger people who feel that Brexit is "being forced on them", he said Tories must make clear that European Union withdrawal "won't be a Nigel Farage Brexit, we are going to make it a One Nation Conservative Brexit and we are going to shape it and recast it in the spirit of a new generation".

If a deal has been reached by then, it will need to be approved by MPs.

Last month, however, May insisted she was "in this for the long term" as she faced questions over the prospect of the former foreign secretary launching a bid for power.

Uncertainty over Brexit and its impact on the pound is making it hard to predict the future profitability of Primark, the owner of the discount fashion chain warned on Monday.

Mellor said that investors were increasingly confident European Union leaders would rally round May to try and secure a Brexit agreement, reflected in the fact sterling had traded away from its 2018 lows of sub-$1.27 hit in mid-August.

"I think it is possible".