British Prime Minister Theresa May said today the only alternative to the government’s Chequers plan is to leave the EU without a deal, amid rising criticism from within her own party.
Speaking to the BBC, May defended the government’s Brexit plan as the only solution that would not break the country apart or enforce a hard border with Northern Ireland. She stressed the need for a “friction-free movement of goods” between the U.K. and Ireland with no customs or regulatory checks, dismissing suggestions of a system of extra checks away from the border.
“You don’t solve the issue of no hard border by having a hard border 20km inside Ireland,” she said.
The PM also reiterated she was confident the U.K. would “get a good deal” and noted it was “still not the end of negotiations.”
Amid calls for a second referendum — including most recently from London mayor Sadiq Khan — the prime minister insisted, “We’re leaving on March 29.”
Writing in the Telegraph today, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused the PM of leading the U.K. toward “a spectacular political car crash” and failing to resolve the border question, which he said had led to “a constitutional abomination.” Chequers would mean Britain “must remain effectively in the customs union and large parts of the single market until Brussels says otherwise,” he wrote.
U.K. Environment Secretary Michael Gove, meanwhile, said Sunday the Chequers plan was the right way to proceed “for now.”