Tory MPs return to Westminster with Theresa May’s plans for Brexit under sustained attack from both wings of the party.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab will update the Commons on the latest developments following his talks with the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier on the Chequers plan thrashed out by Mrs May’s Cabinet.
But the proposals have been rejected by Brussels, savaged by Brexiteer former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Tory Europhiles also have major reservations about the plan.
The Commons resumes after the summer recess with the pace of Brexit talks in Brussels intensifying in the hope of achieving a deal this autumn.
But Conservative divisions have deepened, with Mr Johnson and Mrs May’s Downing Street engaged in a bitter war of words over the approach to Brexit.
In a barely veiled rebuff to Mr Johnson’s ambitions to become prime minister, Mrs May’s official spokesman said the country needed “serious leadership with a serious plan” which was being provided by the current premier.
The comments came after Mr Johnson used his regular Daily Telegraph column to launch a scathing attack on Mrs May’s Brexit strategy, branding it a “fix” that can only lead to victory for the EU.
Opposition to the Chequers plan which would involve a complicated facilitated customs arrangement with the EU and a “common rulebook” for goods has also come from Remain-supporting Tories.
Heidi Allen acknowledged some of her fellow pro-EU Conservatives viewed Chequers as a “complete non-starter” but others, like her, were prepared to give it a “little bit longer”.