'Vassal state'... 'a betrayal'... Brexiteers react to May's deal

PUBLISHED: 18:07 13 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:18 13 November 2018

The reaction

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Leading Brexiteers have launched ferocious attacks on Theresa May's reported Brexit deal, accusing her of "a betrayal of the Union" and calling for a Cabinet mutiny.

A deal has been reached by negotiators in Brussels and go before a crunch Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

But the hardline Leavers in May's party have already pounced on her before it has even been published, urging Cabinet members to reject it.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said he would vote against the deal, claiming it was "vassal state stuff" and urged the Cabinet to "chuck it out".

He said he expected the deal to be "pretty much" what had been agreed a few week ago "we are going to stay in the customs union on this deal, we are going to stay effectively in large parts of the single market and that means it's vassal state stuff".

He told the BBC: "For the first time in a thousand years, this place, this Parliament, will not have a say over the laws that govern this country. It is a quite incredible state of affairs."

He added "I don't see how you can support it from a democratic point of view, I don't see how unionists can support it, and I don't see how you can support it if you believe in the economic and political freedom of this country."

He claimed the deal was "making a nonsense of Brexit so I hope the Cabinet will do the right thing and I hope they chuck it out".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the pro-hard Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs, said the reported deal represented a betrayal of Theresa May's promise to maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom.

"White flags have gone up all over Whitehall. It is a betrayal of the Union," he said.

"If what we have heard is true, this fails to meet the Conservative Party manifesto and it fails to meet many of the commitments that the prime minister makes.

"It would keep us in the customs union and de facto the single market. This is the vassal state.

"It is a failure of the government's negotiating position, it is a failure to deliver on Brexit and it is potentially dividing up the United Kingdom.

"It is very hard to see any reason why the Cabinet should support Northern Ireland being ruled from Dublin."

Former party leader and Brexit hardliner Iain Duncan Smith warned that if reports of the deal's contents were true the Government was "breaking their own agreed position and will be bringing back something that is untenable".

He added that "if the Cabinet agrees it, the party certainly won't".

Asked if the Government's days were numbered he said: "If this is the case almost certainly, yes.

"Because they are in real trouble if they bring back something that is unacceptable to the party.

"The Government puts itself in an impossible position, because they are trying to promote something they themselves said they would never promote. And that makes it impossible.

"How can you ask the party to vote for something which you yourself as prime minister and the Cabinet said they would never ever allow?"

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