David Davis 'not 100% sure' of Brexit deal

The Brexit Secretary is "not certain" of achieving his goals during EU talks and is telling Tory MPs not to oust Theresa May.

David Davis has admitted he is "not 100% sure" of a Brexit deal but warned toppling Theresa May would complicate his task further.

The Brexit Secretary, who this week began negotiations with the EU over the UK's departure, confessed he is "not certain" the Government will achieve its aims from the talks.

Following the failure of the Prime Minister to secure a majority at the General Election, Mr Davis has been touted as a potential replacement for Mrs May.

But he warned Tory MPs not to launch a bid to push out the Prime Minister in fear of destabilising the Brexit process.

Asked whether a Tory leadership contest would be catastrophic for exit negotiations, Mr Davis told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "Yes. Yes. I happen to think we have got a very good Prime Minister.

"I know she is coming under a lot of pressure at the moment, but I have seen her in action."

Mr Davis added he wanted "a stable backdrop to this Brexit negotiation", while he labelled Tory MPs keen on a leadership challenge "self-indulgent".

Along with his role in Brexit talks, Mr Davis said he had an "invisible job" of preparing the UK for the possibility of no agreement with the EU.

Asked if there would be a deal, Mr Davis said: "I'm pretty sure, I am not 100% sure, you can never be, it's a negotiation.

"I'm sure there will be a deal, whether it's the deal I want, which is a free trade agreement, the customs agreement, and so on, I'm pretty sure, but I'm not certain."

He also suggested there would be "one to two years" of transitional arrangements between the UK and EU.

Veteran Tory MP Ken Clarke echoed Mr Davis' call for Tory MPs to forget about ousting Mrs May from Downing Street.

The former chancellor told Sky News' Sophy Ridge he has seen "nothing like" the Tories' current situation during his 47 years in Parliament.

He said: "If the sillier people in the Conservative Party now decide that the best thing to do is start arguing about the leadership we will just make a very difficult, very serious situation rather absurd.

"What we need is to demonstrate we can form a competent Government."

Mr Clarke insisted "the vast majority" of Tory MPs and party members "do not want us to plunge into a leadership crisis".

The europhile politician - the only Tory MP to vote against the Brexit-triggering Article 50 Bill - added he will be "very opposed" to any barriers to trade with the EU as the Government prepares to introduce Brexit legislation to Parliament.

He suggested the General Election result will force Mrs May to compromise on her Brexit plans in order to "reunite" the Tory party, admitting: "We are very divided on Europe."

Labour's shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti also told Sophy Ridge her party is "absolutely clear" the economy has to be prioritised during Brexit by maintaining tariff-free access to the EU's Single Market.

Asked how this fits with Labour's promise EU free movement rules will end, the peer said: "We'll have control of free movement, you can't necessarily have complete control.

"What we want is to be able to have fair migration that avoids people's jobs being undercut."

He said: "There has to be a lot of cross-party discussion and this is beginning to happen in Parliament.

"The mood amongst MPs - I meet quite a few Labour and Tory MPs - is we're in a mess, the country's in a mess, we can't just proceed on the current basis.

"There is no mandate now for the very hard, extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May was committed to."

 

June 25, 2017

Sources:` Sky News

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