Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Brexit rebellion costs British PM May another minister

Brexit rebellion costs British PM May another minister
A junior British defense minister resigned Tuesday after Prime Minister Theresa May conceded to adding hard-line Brexit amendments into a customs bill.

British lawmakers passed the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill Monday that creates an independent customs policy for Britain after it leaves the European Union.

May added amendments that have been controversial, as the British government initially opposed them, but reversed course.

The amendments undercut parts of May's Chequers agreement, a plan for Britain's exit from the EU that some lawmakers said watered down Britain's future independence.

May's plan has drawn criticism from members of her party as well as pro-Brexit members. Brexit secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned last week over the deal, which they said is too soft.

Junior Defense Minister Guto Bebb, who'd supported May's initial plan, objected to the new plan and also resigned.

A spokeswoman for May said the amendments are consistent with the original plan.

Parliament members will soon vote on whether to start their summer recess early -- this week instead of next Tuesday -- with return to work scheduled for Sept. 4.

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