Tory Brexiteers demand “full regulatory autonomy” after Brexit

A number of Conservative Brexiteers have called for full regulatory autonomy, and for Britain to negotiate its exit from the European Union “as an equal partner” in a letter to the Prime Minister.

MPs offered “some suggestions” on how a free-trading, global Britain could be achieved – by “taking control of our tariff schedules at the WTO”, and ensuring the government can change British laws and rules after Brexit, as opposed to being “a rule taker”.

Members of the European Research Group, a collection of Tory MPs planning to scrutinise the handling of Brexit, sent the letter, first obtained by the Times, last week.

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Among the 62 signatories are ERG chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg, John Redwood, Owen Paterson, Priti Patel and Nadine Dorries – while the main signatory is John Penrose.

MPs said the UK should negotiate as an equal partner in the proceedings.

“Ministers may not want or be able to accept the UK’s timing and mandates as fixed, and should be able to set out alternative terms including, for example, building an agreement based on our World Trade Organisation membership instead,” they wrote.

Any implementation period, should be based on WTO principles, they added, without any obstruction to the UK from negotiating or signing other trade agreements.

Tory arch Brexiteers seek to bind cabinet’s hands ahead of that ministerial lock in on Thursday that is supposed to determine future EU trade relationship

— Robert Peston (@Peston) February 20, 2018

The letter comes ahead of a cabinet meeting on Thursday where ministers intend to hash out a Brexit negotiating strategy to move forward with.

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