David Davis, the Former Brexit Secretary, is ready to throw his weight to support a fully-fledged alternative to the Brexit strategy of the UK government as part of a major intervention before the Conservative party conference.
The pro-Brexit big-hitter resigned in the wake of the Chequers plan of Theresa May the British Prime Minister. He is set to endorse detailed proposals for an advanced free trade agreement that is currently being compiled by a team that consists of Westminster trade experts and lawyers.
Davis has been very critical over the Chequers plan. He claimed that it would be “almost worse than staying in the EU.”
The proposal was initiated by Theresa May. It was named after her official country residence where she presented it to her cabinet. It would see the UK continue to be closely aligned to Brussels on goods and regulation. The plan is considered to be widely unpopular among pro-Brexit MPs, and the impending intervention of Davis will potentially weaken further the already lukewarm support for the preferred policy of the prime minister.
Some sources suggest Davis is being lined up to author a foreword to a 140-page “Alternative Brexit Plan.” It is scheduled to be published later in September. It will make the case for a Canada-style trade deal that has improved provisions on areas including security and services.
The comprehensive proposal is being coordinated by Shanker Singham, a trade expert of the Institute of Economic Affairs, in partnership with at least one other think tank and a leading law firm in the City.
The document is already in its final stages of preparation. Sources suggest that it contains detailed proposals for resolving the issue on the Irish border. It also emphasises the need for full regulatory autonomy that has full control over trade deals and tariffs. It also outlines policies to boost the competitiveness and attractiveness of the UK. Furthermore, it criticises the negotiators of the UK for not being able to bat off “EU obstructionism” in the course of the discussions so far.
The Chequers deal is anticipated to come in for withering criticism in the document. It will also recommend some options in the event that a no-deal will be reached.
Earlier this week, the head of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said that he and Michel Barnier, the lead EU negotiator, agreed that the Chequers plan “is absolute rubbish and that we should chuck it and what we should have is a Canada-style free trade deal.”
According to The Spectator, Boris Johnson is another MP who resigned because of his opposition to the Chequers deal. He is anticipated to organise a 1,000-person “Chuck Chequers” rally during the conference of the Tory party. Downing Street has denounced Johnson of “having no new ideas.” Last night, some sources who are close to the former foreign secretary confirmed that he is not involved in negotiations around a Canada-style deal and “has not seen an alternative plan.”
With the MPs making a return to Westminster, May is also suffering from a revolt from the Remainers of the party. Nick Boles, the former minister, is urging for her to drop the Chequers plan in favour of UK membership of the European Economic Area. Yesterday, Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, informed MPs that the Chequers “fudge” satisfies “no-one.”