By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday told representatives of British industry that she is “determined to deliver” the Brexit deal reached last week with the EU.
Speaking at a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in London, May said “the core elements of that deal are already in place.”
“The withdrawal agreement has been agreed in full, subject of course to final agreement being reached on the future framework,” she said.
Two Cabinet ministers, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, resigned last week after the Cabinet approved the draft deal with the majority of votes from its ministers.
“That agreement is a good one for the UK” and “it fulfills the wishes of the British people as expressed in the 2016 referendum,” May said.
“I have always had a very clear sense of the outcomes I wanted to deliver for people in these negotiations,” she added.
May said the deal will give the UK “control over our borders, by bringing an end to free movement, once and for all,” as well as “control of our money” and “control of our laws.”
The British PM added the deal will enable the UK to control its borders in terms of having a different set of rules for immigration policies.
“Once we have left the EU, we will be fully in control of who comes here,” she said.
“It will no longer be the case that EU nationals, regardless of the skills or experience they have to offer, can jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi,” she added.
May underlined that “instead of a system based on where a person is from, we will have one that is built around the talents and skills a person has to offer.”
“Not only will this deliver on the verdict of the referendum. It should lead to greater opportunity for young people in this country to access training and skilled employment,” she added.
Letter of no confidence
Following the resignations last week and a statement by May in the House of Commons defending the deal, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg sent a letter of no confidence in the prime minister to the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee.
Speaking to the press, Rees-Mogg said the government should go back to Brussels and tell them that the U.K. will leave without a deal, and trade on the terms of the World Trade Organization.
“Regrettably, the draft withdrawal agreement presented to parliament today has turned out to be worse than anticipated and fails to meet the promises given to the nation by the prime minister, either on her own account or on behalf of us all in the Conservative party manifesto,” he said in the letter.
“It is of considerable importance that politicians stick to their commitments or do not make such commitments in the first place,” he wrote.
He added: “Regrettably, this is not the situation, therefore, in accordance with the relevant rules and procedures of the Conservative party and the 1922 committee this is a formal letter of no confidence in the leader of the party, the Rt. Hon. Theresa May.”
A vote to challenge May’s leadership would need at least 48 letters in total before such a vote can be initiated. The number reached 27 on Monday, according to local media reports.
Under the proposed deal, the EU accepted the idea of a whole-U.K. customs union with the bloc, in a major concession to please U.K. demands to protect its territorial integrity.
A previous EU version of backstop would keep Northern Ireland anchored in the EU single market and customs union until a solution is found on the border issue on the island of Ireland.
In return, Britain is to agree that it will not be allowed to exit the backstop unless and until the EU is convinced that there is no prospect of a return to a hard border.
The EU has set Nov. 25 as the date of an emergency Brexit summit in Brussels.
Following the summit, the final deal will be voted on in the House of Commons.
The U.K. is set to leave the EU in March 2019.