Theresa May promises world leaders economic boost from Brexit deal
Theresa May will attempt to sell her EU deal to world leaders at a G20 summit in Argentina – while one of her cabinet Brexiteers attacks the prime minister’s critics at home.
At the gathering in Buenos Aires on Friday, Mrs May will tell other leaders the agreement she has reached with Brussels is a “good deal” for the global economy.
Speaking at a session on trade, the prime minister will say the UK will be able to “play a full and active role” when it takes up an independent seat at the World Trade Organisation in April next year, after Brexit day.
Promising positive economic consequences from her deal, Mrs May will say: “Our relationship with the EU will remain close.
“A free trade area with no tariffs, fees, charges, quantitative restrictions or rules of origin checks, will protect jobs, including those that rely on integrated supply chains.
“International firms that have invested in UK production or use European bases to supply the UK market will benefit from these arrangements.
“But we will be leaving the EU, including the single market, the customs union, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy.
“For the first time in more than four decades, the UK will have an independent trade policy.
“We will play a full and active role on trade on the global stage, working with friends new and old, at a time of unprecedented global interconnectedness.”
Despite criticism from Brexiteers about the terms of her agreement, Mrs May has insisted her Brexit deal will allow the UK to strike free trade deals around the world, once outside the EU’s structures.
The prime minister is also likely to press the case for her Brexit plan during a series of bilaterals with world leaders during the course of the two-day summit.
It is not yet known whether Mrs May will hold a face-to-face meeting with US President Donald Trump, who has trashed her agreement with the EU, while in Argentina.
The prime minister was not included on a list of planned meetings announced by the White House earlier this week.
However, Mrs May will be meeting Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri on a visit which will mark the first time a British prime minister has ever travelled to Buenos Aires.
It will also be only the second prime ministerial visit to Argentina after Tony Blair’s trip in 2001.
Earlier this week, the UK and Argentina announced the agreement of a new flight linking the Falklands with South America, which highlighted the significant thawing of the relationship between London and Buenos Aires.
While Mrs May makes the case for her Brexit deal to foreign leaders, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox will take on the prime minister’s domestic critics.
The Leave-supporting cabinet minister will tell his fellow Tory Brexiteers, vast numbers of whom are opposed to Mrs May’s agreement, to “face up to” the fact the government has had to make “tough choices”.
Dr Fox will tell an audience at Portbury Royal Docks near Bristol: “The withdrawal agreement and the political declaration will not please everyone, and we have had some tough choices to make.
“Choices which many in parliament, on both sides of the House, are yet to face up to.
“But the deal we’ve reached will give us a firm and stable base on which to leave the EU and build this country’s global future, a future that still encompasses Europe, of course, but also the wide fast-growing markets beyond, with all the opportunity that entails.”
According to website Buzzfeed, 100 Tory MPs have now publicly indicated they will join Labour in not backing the prime minister’s deal in a crunch House of Commons vote on 11 December.
Ahead of that vote, senior Labour MP Hilary Benn – who chairs the House of Commons’ Brexit committee, has tabled a cross-party amendment opposing the deal, rejecting a “no-deal” Brexit, and enabling MPs to “express its view” about what should happen next if Mrs May’s agreement is defeated.
The amendment has been supported by Tory MPs Dominic Grieve and Sarah Wollaston, who both want a second EU referendum.
Other amendments tabled include attempts to include a UK unilateral right to withdraw from the Irish backstop arrangement included in the prime minister’s deal, as we; as well as an effort to ensure the UK’s future relationship with the EU is agreed before the end of the Brexit transition period.