BRITISH businesses should “aim high” when free from EU red tape after Brexit, Theresa May said yesterday.
The PM said our high-tech firms and “nimble” economy could help forge a new path outside the bloc.
Yesterday morning she summoned her ten-strong Brexit core committee to take soundings ahead of a full meeting of her divided Cabinet today.
Ministers are split over how close Britain should stay to Brussels rules after Brexit to keep trade flowing.
To the delight of Cabinet “divergers” such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove Mrs May said the UK’s economic future was on a “global not European stage”.
But as the PM began hammering out Britain’s future relationship with the EU, “aligners” such as Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd warned of job losses if the UK strayed too far from Brussels.
However, Brussels quickly moved to dash hopes of a “gradual divergence” from EU red tape — favoured by some Cabinet ministers.
EU Brexit boss Michel Barnier’s right-hand man branded plans to find a middle way between soft and hard Brexit an unwelcome “buffet”.
RUDD RIGHTS CALL
AMBER Rudd last night wrote to 120,000 EU citizens living in Britain about staying after Brexit.
The Home Secretary said registering to remain will cost no more than the cost of a passport.
In a pre-Christmas charm offensive, Ms Rudd wrote she was “proud so many EU citizens like yourself have built your lives in the UK”.
She added: “We value your contribution which is why the Government put safeguarding your rights as the first priority in the Brexit negotiations.”
Stefaan De Rynck insisted that for the survival of the EU there could be “no cherry-picking or what one could call a buffet-style transition where one picks the bits one likes”.
But he hinted Britain could get a tailor-made Brexit deal.
Rejecting increasing calls for a second referendum, Mrs May said asking the country again would be a “betrayal”.
Millionaire Labour peer Lord Malloch-Brown has vowed to stop Brexit.
The former minister has been hired by a pro-EU campaign fighting to dilute Britain’s exit.
He is now chair of Best for Britain, founded by Gina Miller, who won a court battle to secure a Commons vote for our EU divorce.
UK IN FISH FINGER
THE UK will quit controversial EU fishing and farming schemes on Brexit day despite Brussels’ objections, Mrs May said yesterday.
The Prime Minister also told MPs that EU bosses must put an offer on the table if they wanted Britain to carry on participating in the Common Agriculture and Fishing Policies during the transition period.
She spoke out as EU aide Stefaan De Rynck told a meeting in London that the UK will have to apply any new Brussels rules during the transition period.
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