The publication of Theresa May’s new Brexit plan has descended into chaos as John Bercow had to suspend the Commons to allow MPs to see copies of the white paper.
Labour described it as an “utter shambles” that MPs were unable to see the 98-page document until Brexit secretary Dominic Raab appeared to give a statement on the plans, which could allow some EU migrants preferable treatment as part of future trade deals.
It comes as Tory rebels ramped up pressure on Ms May to scrap her new Brexit plan, which has already caused the resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis, as well as several other Tory Eurosceptics.
In a show of strength, Eurosceptic backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg and allies have tabled a string of amendments to the government’s trade and customs bill, raising the threat of Commons defeats on Monday.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is due to face major protests as he arrived in the UK for his much-anticipated working visit.
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“This vision should not have taken two years and three weeks to emerge, but it is nevertheless a welcome starting point for businesses.
“Momentum and pace are now needed to translate ambition into answers to the real-world, practical questions that businesses face.
“Even with the welcome direction of travel in the white paper, companies still don’t know how they’ll be paying VAT, how they can move people between offices or whether goods will get across borders with a minimum of fuss. It is incumbent on the two sides to work pragmatically and productively on the nuts-and-bolts detail of the future relationship over the coming weeks, drawing on business experience and expertise.
“Time is short – and for businesses it’s results that count.”
Donald Trump has dramatically undermined Theresa May’s Brexit plan, saying: “I’m not sure that’s what people voted for”.
In an extraordinary intervention in British domestic politics, the US president told reporters at the Nato summit that her proposals would leave the UK “partially involved with the EU”.