May could face trouble over Brexit deal, Conservative lawmaker warns

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May could face trouble getting her Brexit deal approved by the British parliament before exit day unless she changes her proposals, the head of an influential group of pro-Brexit lawmakers said in an interview published on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May returns to Downing Street from the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the European Research Group, a faction within May’s Conservative Party, is strongly opposed to the government’s so-called Chequers plan for Brexit and favours a clean break with the bloc on March 29 next year.

“If she sticks with Chequers, she will find she has a block of votes against her in the House of Commons,” Rees-Mogg, tipped as a possible successor to May, told The Sunday Times newspaper, describing the Chequers proposals as “surrender” to the EU.

“Of course the Eurosceptics in parliament are not in a majority on all issues, but we will inevitably be in a majority on some of them and that will make the legislation extraordinarily difficult if it is based on Chequers.”

The Chequers plan would keep Britain in a free trade zone with the EU for manufactured and agricultural goods. But some Brexit supporters have said it would mean parts of the British economy would still be subject to rules set in Brussels.

Both London and Brussels say they want to get a divorce deal at the Oct. 18 EU Council, but diplomats think that target date is too optimistic. If May cannot get a deal by October, an agreement could be reached at

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