1. ITV Report

How Theresa May defended her Chequers Brexit plan to the House of Commons

Theresa May explaining why her Chequers Brexit plan is the only way forward. Photo: PA

Prime Minister Theresa May has defended her Chequers Brexit plan in the House of Commons following the resignation of two senior ministers –Boris Johnson as foreign secretary and David Davis as Brexit secretary.

Speaking to the House of Commons, she said: “It is a proposal that will take back control of our borders but do so in a way that protects money and jobs, allows us to strike new trade deals.”

Here are the key points of her Brexit proposal and how she defended it.

  • The UK and EU agreeing a “common rulebook for all goods including agri-foods”, with British ministers committing in a treaty to ongoing harmonisation with Brussels’ rules necessary to provide for frictionless trade at ports and the border with Ireland.

Explaining the need for the friction free movement of goods she said it is "the only way to avoid a hard border between Norther Ireland and Ireland and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

"It is the only way to protect the supply chains and just-in-time processes on which millions of jobs and livelihoods depend.

"At the heart of our proposal is a UK/EU fair trade area, which will avoid the need for customs and regulatory checks at the border, and protect those supply chains."

  • The UK Parliament would have the ability to choose not to incorporate future rules, but accepts there would be “consequences” for trade.

The Prime Minister also emphasised the UK's post Brexit autonomy by saying "there would be parliamentary lock on all new rules and regulations, because when we leave the EU, we will end the direct effect of EU law on the UK, all laws in the UK will be passed in Westminster, Edinburgh,Cardiff and Belfast.

"Our parliament will have the sovereign ability to reject any proposals if it so chooses, recognising there will be consequences including for market access if we chose a different approach from the EU."

  • The UK would apply the EU’s tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the bloc but would be able to control its own tariffs and trade for the domestic market, with the plan being phased in as both sides complete the necessary preparations.

"The UK would apply UK's tariff's and trade policy for good intended for the UK and the EU's tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the EU."

She added: "96% of businesses would be able to pay the correct tariff or no tariff at the UK border so there would be no additional burdens for them compared to the status quo and they would be able to benefit from the new trade deals we would be able to strike."