Javid insists Chequers plan is only one 'on the table' as backbench pressure mounts

Sebastian McCarthy
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Sajid Javid has said that May's Chequers plan was the "only deal that we've got on the table" (Source: Getty)
ome Secretary Sajid Javid insisted Downing Street’s Chequers plan was the only one on the table with the EU earlier today, amid growing party pressure for a fully-fledged alternative to the government’s current Brexit strategy.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, Javid said: “The only deal that we’ve got on the table, that’s the Chequers deal...it is up to the EU to respond to that”.

The news comes hours after former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attacked Theresa's May's Brexit plan, saying she had "wrapped a suicide vest" around the British constitution and "handed the detonator" to Brussels.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis also looked poised to throw his weight behind a different free-trade blueprint to Theresa May's Chequers plan late last week, in what could be a major intervention ahead of the Conservative party conference.

Pro-Brexit MPs such as Davis, who has described the Chequers plan as “almost worse than staying in the EU”, have been highly critical of the government strategy, which would see the UK staying closely aligned to Brussels on goods and regulation.

Read more: Theresa May mulls major rail review following East Coast fiasco

Last week Jacob Rees-Mogg added that he and top EU negotiator Michel Barnier agreed the Chequers deal was “absolute rubbish”.

Sajid also doubled down on the government’s commitment to take firm measures over the Salisbury attack this morning, following May’s comments last week that he men identified as suspects in the poisonings were from Russia's military intelligence service.

He said: “Russia has no extradition treaty with the UK and no history of extraditing its citizens..reality is we will never see them in the UK...if they ever step out of the Russian Federation, Britain and its allies will get them and bring them to prosecution.”

The Kremlin has described the allegations as unacceptable and denies that any Russian officials were involved.

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