Brexit: Ruth Davidson hints she will resign if deal gives Northern Ireland special trading terms with EU

Posted by On 10:33 AM

Brexit: Ruth Davidson hints she will resign if deal gives Northern Ireland special trading terms with EU

Ruth Davidson has deepened Theresa May’s troubles by hinting she will resign if the Brexit deal gives Northern Ireland special trading terms with the EU.

The Scottish Tory leader said she “could not support” such an agreement, in a joint letter also signed by David Mundell, the Scottish secretary.

“Having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations,” the pair wrote.

The letter, obtained by The Scotsman, provides evidence to back up reports that both Ms Davidson and Ms Mundell are prepared to resign if the prime minister refuses to back down.

It was revealed as Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, headed to Brussels to try to break the deadlock in the talks, with just three days until a crunch summit of EU leaders.

Under Ms May’s plan â€" also opposed by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) â€" Northern Ireland would effectively stay in the EU single market as part of the “backstop” to avoid a hard Irish border.

The Tories in Scotland are under pressure because the SNP has already questioned why such an arrangement is not being offered to Scotland as well.

Ms Davidson and Mr Mundell will fear it will bolster the case for independence north of the border, if the backstop creates distinct single market terms for Northern Ireland only.

The letter says: “Any deal that delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland beyond the differences that already exist on all Ireland basis (eg agriculture), or can be brought under the provisions of the Belfast Agreemen t, would undermine the integrity of our UK internal market and this United Kingdom.”

leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch. ShapeCreated with Sketch.Tories at war: Boris Johnson 'suicide vest' Brexit jibe causes divide

1/14

Internal divisions in the Conservative Party have exploded into a bitter public row over Boris Johnson‘s “disgusting” criticism of Theresa May. Some senior Tories furiously denounced the former foreign secretary after he accused the pr ime minister of having ”wrapped a suicide vest” around Britain Reuters

2/14 Sajid Javid, Home secretary

Sajid Javid, the home secretary, rebuked his former cabinet colleague and said: “I think there are much better ways to articulate your differences.” He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the public wanted politicians to use “measured language” BBC/PA

3/14

But other MPs leapt to Mr Johnson’s defence, as dividing lines ahead of a possible leadership contest begin to take shape. The Uxbridge MP has repeatedly criticised Ms May’s Chequers plan and used a newspaper article on Sunday to suggest it amounted to “wrapping a suicide vest around the British constitution”. His latest salvo at the prime minister prompted immediate condemnation, with one minister publicly vowing to end Mr Johnson’s career over the matter PA

4/14 Alan Duncan, Foreign minister

Alan Duncan, a foreign minister who worked in Mr Johnson’s team for two years, wrote on Twitter: “For Boris to say the PM’s view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much. This marks one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics. “I’m sorry, but this is the political end of Boris Johnson. If it isn’t now, I will make sure it is later.” Getty

5/14 James Brokenshire, Housing secretary

Housing secretary James Brokenshire added his voice to the criticism, calling Mr Johnson’s comments ”wrong” He said: “I think he is wrong on this...I think the tone that he has used isn’t right and I think that we just need to be very focused on actually moving forward with the Chequers plan.” AFP/Getty

6/14 Zac Goldsmith

But as Tory hostilities spilled over into open public warfare, Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith, an ally of Mr Johnson, hit back at Mr Duncan. He wrote: “There are a number of possible motives behind this tweet, but given its author, we can be certain ‘principles’ aren’t one of them.” Getty

7/14 Jacob Rees-Mogg

Senior Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Independent he thought Mr Johnson’s “suicide belt” accusation was little more than “a characteristically colourful catchphrase”. He added: “I agree with the sentiment. The criticism of Boris’s wording merely serves to highlight his point. It means more people hear of Boris’s criticism of Chequers and many will agree with him.” Reuters

8/14 Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries, another Brexit supporter, said Mr Johnson’s opponents were “terrified of his popular appeal”, adding: “Don’t underestimate the vitriol that’ll be directed towards Boris today. He delivered the Leave vote, Remainers and wannabe future PMs hate him.” If Mr Johnson became leader and prime minister he would deliver a “clean and prosperous” Brexit, she said Rex

9/14 Andrew Bridgen

Andrew Bridgen said Ms May was to blame for her leadership problems. Asked if Mr Johnson had put a bomb under her leadership, Mr Bridgen said: “I think that Theresa May did that herself when she put forward the Chequers proposals without consulting widely prior to that.”

10/14 Steve Baker, former Brexit minister

Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, warned Ms May the Conservatives faced a "catastrophic split" if she did not jettison her Chequers plan. Mr Baker, who quit the government in July over the scheme, said: “When negotiating, the prime minister needs to demonstrate her intent and also her power to deliver. "If we come out of conference with her hoping to get Chequers through on the back of Labour votes, I think the EU negotiators would probably understand that if that were done, the Tory party would suffer the catastrophic split which thus far we have managed to avoid.” But he insisted he did not want a change in the Conservative leadership, saying Brexiteers did “not want to be in a position of conflict with our own prime minister” Reuters

11/14 Tom Tugendhat

The deep divisions on the Tory benches were laid bare as Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons foreign affairs committee and is a possible leadership rival to Mr Johnson, also hit out at the former foreign secretary. Recalling how he encountered a suicide bomber in Afghanistan during his time in the army, Mr Tugendhat told Mr Johnson to “grow up”. He said: “A suicide bomber murdered many in the courtyard of my office in Helmand. The carnage was disgusting, limbs and flesh hanging from trees and bushes. Brave men who stopped him killing me and others died in horrific pain. “Some need to grow up. Comparing the PM to that isn’t happy.” PA

12/14 Ali stair Burt

Alistair Burt, another Foreign Office minister who worked in Mr Johnson’s team, said: “I’m stunned at the nature of this attack. There is no justification for such an outrageous, inappropriate and hurtful analogy. “If we don’t stop his extraordinary use of language over Brexit, our country might never heal. Again, I say, enough.” AFP/Getty

13/14

It comes amid that Ms May’s former aides drew up a dossier on Mr Johnson’s sexual encounters with the aim of undermining his leadership prospects. The document was compiled in 2016, when the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP was seen as the main rival to Ms May in her bid to enter No 10. Downing Street and Conservative Campaign Headquaters (CCHQ) b oth denied having leaked the 4,000 word memo after it was circulated around Westminster AFP/Getty

14/14

Mr Johnson confirmed that his 25-year marriage to wife Marina had ended AP

1/14

Internal divisions in the Conservative Party have exploded into a bitter public row over Boris Johnson‘s “disgusting” criticism of Theresa May. Some senior Tories furiously denounced the former foreign secretary after he accused the prime minister of having ”wrapped a suicide vest” around Britain Reuters

2/14 Sajid Javid, Home secretary

Sajid Javid, the home secretary, rebuked his former cabinet colleague and said: “I think there are much better ways to articulate your differences.” He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the public wanted politicians to use “measured language” BBC/PA

3/14

But other MPs leapt to Mr Johnson’s defence, as dividing lines ahead of a possible leadership contest begin to take shape. The Uxbridge MP has repeatedly criticised Ms May’s Chequers plan and used a newspaper article on Sunday to suggest it amounted to “wrapping a sui cide vest around the British constitution”. His latest salvo at the prime minister prompted immediate condemnation, with one minister publicly vowing to end Mr Johnson’s career over the matter PA

4/14 Alan Duncan, Foreign minister

Alan Duncan, a foreign minister who worked in Mr Johnson’s team for two years, wrote on Twitter: “For Boris to say the PM’s view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much. This marks one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics. “I’m sorry, but this is the political end of Boris Johnson. If it isn’t now, I will make sure it is later.” Getty

5/14 James Brokenshire, Housing secretary

Housing secretary James Brokenshire added his voice to the criticism, calling Mr Johnson’s comments ”wrong” He said: “I think he is wrong on this...I think the tone that he has used isn’t right and I think that we just need to be very focused on actually moving forward with the Chequers plan.” AFP/Getty

6/14 Zac Goldsmith

But as Tory hostilities spilled over into open public warfare, Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith, an ally of Mr Johnson, hit back at Mr Duncan. He wrote: “There are a number of possible motives behind this tweet, but given its author, we can be certain ‘principles’ aren’t one of them.” Getty

7/14 Jacob Rees-Mogg

Senior Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Independent he thought Mr Johnson’s “suicide belt” accusation was little more than “a characteristically colourful catchphrase”. He added: “I agree with the sentiment. The criticism of Boris’s wording merely serves to highlight his point. It means more people hear of Boris’s criticism of Chequers and many will agree with him.” Reuters

8/14 Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries, another Brexit supporter, said Mr Johnson’s opponents were “terrified of his popula r appeal”, adding: “Don’t underestimate the vitriol that’ll be directed towards Boris today. He delivered the Leave vote, Remainers and wannabe future PMs hate him.” If Mr Johnson became leader and prime minister he would deliver a “clean and prosperous” Brexit, she said Rex

9/14 Andrew Bridgen

Andrew Bridgen said Ms May was to blame for her leadership problems. Asked if Mr Johnson had put a bomb under her leadership, Mr Bridgen said: “I think that Theresa May did that herself when she put forward the Chequers proposals without consulting widely prior to that.”

10/14 Steve Baker, former Brexit min ister

Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, warned Ms May the Conservatives faced a "catastrophic split" if she did not jettison her Chequers plan. Mr Baker, who quit the government in July over the scheme, said: “When negotiating, the prime minister needs to demonstrate her intent and also her power to deliver. "If we come out of conference with her hoping to get Chequers through on the back of Labour votes, I think the EU negotiators would probably understand that if that were done, the Tory party would suffer the catastrophic split which thus far we have managed to avoid.” But he insisted he did not want a change in the Conservative leadership, saying Brexiteers did “not want to be in a position of conflict with our own prime minister” Reuters

11/14 Tom Tugendhat

The deep divisions on the Tory benches were laid bare as Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons foreign affairs committee and is a possible leadership rival to Mr Johnson, also hit out at the former foreign secretary. Recalling how he encountered a suicide bomber in Afghanistan during his time in the army, Mr Tugendhat told Mr Johnson to “grow up”. He said: “A suicide bomber murdered many in the courtyard of my office in Helmand. The carnage was disgusting, limbs and flesh hanging from trees and bushes. Brave men who stopped him killing me and others died in horrific pain. “Some need to grow up. Comparing the PM to that isn’t happy.” PA

12/14 Alistair Burt

Al istair Burt, another Foreign Office minister who worked in Mr Johnson’s team, said: “I’m stunned at the nature of this attack. There is no justification for such an outrageous, inappropriate and hurtful analogy. “If we don’t stop his extraordinary use of language over Brexit, our country might never heal. Again, I say, enough.” AFP/Getty

13/14

It comes amid that Ms May’s former aides drew up a dossier on Mr Johnson’s sexual encounters with the aim of undermining his leadership prospects. The document was compiled in 2016, when the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP was seen as the main rival to Ms May in her bid to enter No 10. Downing Street and Conservative Campaign Headquaters (CCHQ) both denied having leaked the 4,000 word memo after it was circulated around Westminster AFP/Getty

14/14

Mr Johnson confirmed that his 25-year marriage to wife Marina had ended AP

And it adds: “We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the union or leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the rest of the UK, beyond what currently exists.”

The resignation of the popular Ms Davidson â€" who has led a Tory revival in Scotland and successfully so ftened the party’s image â€" would be a huge blow to the prime minister.

The threat emphasises how Ms May now faces cabinet opposition to her backstop plan for two separate reasons, ahead of a showdown on Tuesday.

The rest of the nine ministers challenging it fear the entire UK will be locked into the EU’s customs union for many years to come, unless the backstop has a legal end date.

The Independent revealed on Friday that Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, is prepared to resign if Ms May compromises further.

Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, and Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, are also on “resignation watch”.

On Friday Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, insisted the “backstop” â€" the key hurdle to a withdrawal agreement â€" must have an end date or it would be rejected by parliament.

But Mr Mundell’s and Ms Davidson’s opposition is to the linked proposal for Northern Ireland to retain EU regulations on goods and agriculture, with checks on flows across the Irish Sea.


The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.
Sign our petition here

Source: Google News Ireland | Netizen 24 Ireland

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