Theresa May braced for showdown with Brexit rebels

The plan sparked widespread criticism and the apparent beginning of an exodus from government officials and parliament members.

"They do not change that Chequers agreement and the minister from the despatch box later today will be making that clear".

Former Education Secretary Justine Greening, also a Conservative, said the U.K. Parliament was "gridlocked" over the divisive issue.

May's decision improving her prospects of making through to the summer break without a leadership challenge.

The plan, only a starting point for the second phase of talks with the European Union, has come under fire from other eurosceptic lawmakers, who say the proposal to keep close customs ties to the European Union betrays her commitment for a clean break with the bloc. They are particularly wary of inflicting a defeat on May as she appears most vulnerable to the Brexit-supporting wing of the party.

The vote is already likely to be unpleasant for the Prime Minister who is facing opposition from the pro-Brexit members in her party who see her strategy towards the European Union as too soft and created to keep Britain to close to Europe.

Brexiteers had set up a WhatsApp group to co-ordinate voting tactics, organised by ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker, who quit over the Chequers plan.

It is absolutely crucial for May that the Bill passes because failure could mean another week of awful headlines and personal attacks as Tory MPs return from their weekends reporting furious constituents who believe May's Brexit plans represent a betrayal of the project.

"We have been calling for change, we have been calling for more engagement and the wider arguments to be heard", she said.

The most talked-about of the four amendments proposes to make it illegal for the British taxman to collect duties for the European Union without reciprocal arrangements, after May proposed that the United Kingdom would collect tariffs on goods heading for the EU after Brexit.

The controversial plans, which detail "a common rule book" covering a new UK-EU free trade area, were presented by Mrs May as a hopeful compromise approach in Brexit talks.

Tonight's amendments would make May's plan unworkable by blocking specific proposals on customs and the Irish border.

MPs suspected of planning to vote against Brexit legislation or to agitate for a leadership contest are being warned by May loyalists that such moves could lead to a Tory split - and a government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

"Actually the fact that they represent 28 different countries means they come up with sub-optimal outcomes all the time and actually we're the country that does least well out of the European Union free trade agreements".

Other Tory MPs have supported the idea of a second referendum including Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry.

"So all the second choices will be the Chequers deal".

"It is with great deal of sadness that I have tendered my resignation as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Treasury", Mann said in a Twitter post in which he shared his resignation letter.

Labour sought to exploit the open Tory divisions.

The Chequers plan is the only way to get a Brexit deal that meets the government's objectives, according to UK Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman.

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