BREXIT LIVE: Rees-Mogg's ERG meets with May just hours after they demand her DOWNFALL

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BREXIT LIVE: Rees-Mogg's ERG meets with May just hours after they demand her DOWNFALL

Members of the influential European Research Group (ERG) headed by Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke with the Prime Minister at Downing Street just hours after the group published a scathing attack on her Brexit plan. In its critique of Mrs May’s “half in half out” deal, the ERG said the terms on offer would not actually see the UK leave the EU and consign Britain to the status of a “vassal state”. ERG members were pictured leaving Number 10 after the talks this afternoon as at least one more Tory MP submitted letters of no confidence in Mrs May’s leadership.

It is understood around 24 MPs have submitted letters to the backbench 1922 Committee - still well short of the 48 required to trigger a leadership contest.

The Prime Minister will travel to the home of the EU to meet Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

Her meeting comes as EU leaders met in Brussels this morning for a General Affairs Council to discuss Mrs May’s controversial deal ahead of a special Brexit summit on November 25.

The November 25 event will see leaders of the remaining 27 EU states asked to put their stamp on the document, and the agreement will then be sent for ratification to both the Westminster Parliament and the European Parliament.

Keep up to date with all of today's latest Brexit news with Express.co.uk's live blog below:

Guy Verhofstadt

Guy Verhofstadt's criticised Mrs May's characterisation of the UK's post-Brexit immigration plan (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

8pm: Stop Brexit and lose the trust of the public, Tory MP warns

Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns said it would be “unthinkable” for Parliament to overturn the result of the 2016 referendum.

The MP for Morley and Outwood said trust in politicians will "erode further" if the UK remains in the European Union.

During a Westminster hall debate on whether Brexit should be stopped if no deal is reached, Ms Jenkyns said: "I have grave concerns that if we do not deliver - if Brexit is stopped - then the trust will erode further.

"We need to reverse this shocking trend and stopping Brexit will certainly not do that. They will not trust us again if we remain in the European Union."

6.15pm: ‘EU citizens DO NOT jump the queue’ - May’s post-Brexit immigration plan criticised

Business leaders have reacted angrily to Theresa May’s plans to reduce immigration after Brexit and stop EU workers “jumping the queue” ahead of migrants from outside the bloc.

The Prime Minister told the CBI's conference in London the post-Brexit system will be based on skills rather than where migrants come from.

Promoting the benefits of the proposed system earlier today, she said: "It will no longer be the case that EU nationals, regardless of the skills or experience they have to offer, can jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi."

But CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said firms needed time to adapt to the "seismic shift" in the immigration system and claimed the Government was not paying attention to the concerns of businesses.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Prime Minister's language was "offensive" and "disgraceful”.

The European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt criticised Mrs May’s choice of language.

He said: "EU citizens living, working, contributing to UK communities, didn't 'jump the queue' and neither did UK nationals in Europe.

"They were exercising rights which provided freedom and opportunities. We will fight to ensure these continue in the future, especially after any transition."

Jeremy Corbyn CBI speech

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted Labour will not allow a no-deal Brexit (Image: EPA)

5.30pm: May’s deal offers ‘false choice’

Arlene Foster has condemned the “really bad” draft agreement negotiated by Theresa May and insisted it is “absolutely clear” that better deal must be negotiated.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader reiterated concerns over the Irish border ‘backstop’ terms set out in the 585-page document just days after she warned she would not vote for it unless major changes are made.

Ms Foster said: "The agreement that has been put on the table is clearly not a good deal and no-one should be forced into accepting another false choice.

"This really bad deal would lock us into the EU with no way out. We would be trapped.

“Those attempting to sell the current deal are using the threat of no-deal as the only other option.

“I appreciate the concerns people have about a no deal but this should not be a binary choice. It is absolutely clear that it is time to work for a better deal."

5.20pm: Labour will NOT allow no-deal Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted his party will not allow the UK to leave without a deal, despite planning to vote against Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement.

Addressing business leaders this afternoon, he said: “Labour will not countenance a no-deal Brexit.”

4.50pm: Another letter of no confidence

The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg has tweeted to say another MP has submitted letter calling for a vote on Theresa May’s continued leadership.

She tweeted Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, was the latest to voice his concerns.

At least 24 MPs - not including these latest two - have announced they have written letters to the backbench 1922 Committee.

A total of 48 are required to trigger a no confidence vote.

3.30pm: Hard Brexit MUST be prevented, Austria warns

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz has warned of “chaos” if Theresa May is unable to secure support for her Brexit deal or if the Prime Minister is ousted by her party.

Mr Kurz said it was possible that either - or both - scenarios could become reality.

In an interview with the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper, he said: “It is currently unpredictable whether May will win the motion of no confidence in parliament or not.

“Nor can we say whether there will be a majority vote in the British Parliament for the deal with the EU. But I hope so.

“Because everything else would lead to chaos and possibly to a hard Brexit.

“Both must be prevented.”

Brexit news: Austria's Sebastian Kurz

Austria's Sebastian Kurz warned hard Brexit must be prevented at all costs (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

3.10pm: Germany demands EU backs May’s Brexit deal

Germany’s economic minister warned any renegotiation would untangle months of work.

He said: “I think we should stick to what we have now.

“This Brexit means difficult problems for everyone, it also means economic disadvantages.

“That's why we should do everything we can to ensure that the Summit of Heads of State and Government succeeds.”

Harvey Gavin taking over from Rebecca Perring on live reporting.

2.10pm update: Spain poised to VETO May's Brexit deal

Madrid threatened to veto Brexit in a desperate bid to carve out Gibraltar from any future trade deal involving the EU and UK. 

Theresa May at the CBI

Mrs May will take the helm in the remaining negotiations with the EU (Image: PA)

1.49pm update: US offers UK this ’important step’ in bumper post-brexit trade deal

The US has already started preparing to offer the UK a post-Brexit trade deal with this “important step”, officials have revealed.

The Office of the United State Trade Representative has submitted a request to Congress for members to begin discussing what kind of deal they want to propose to the UK.

The request reads: “The Administration's aim in negotiations with the UK is to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve free, fair, and reciprocal trade.

“The President intends to commence negotiations with the UK for a US-UK Trade Agreement.”

It goes on to outline specific details of what the official negotiations will look like.

The report lists discussion topics such as “the economic costs and benefits to US producers and consumers of removal or reduction of tariffs and removal or reduction of non-tariff barriers on articles traded with the UK, measures or practices that undermine fair market opportunities for US businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers and product-specific import or export interests or barriers”.

1.21pm update: Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley warns of chaos in the event of no-deal Brexit 

She warned the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal would deliver customs and regulatory checks on the island of Ireland.

She stressed that, while the UK Government is committed to working to avoid a hard border, World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules are "very clear" and checks would need to be carried out on consignments passing between two customs territories on a contemporaneous basis.

The Conservative MP also suggested that UK and EU commitments outlined in last December's joint report on maintaining the Common Travel Area - an agreement which allows free movement for UK and Irish citizens in Britain and Ireland - would also be thrown into doubt in a no-deal scenario.

Ms Bradley, who pitched the merits of the draft Brexit deal to business leaders in Belfast on Monday, said the report's undertakings to protect the Single Electricity Market (SEM) and ensure certain citizens' rights are upheld post-Brexit would also fall by the wayside if the UK crashes out.

"They are agreed as part of the withdrawal agreement, that is not something that is agreed in a no-deal situation," she said.

Brexit news

Brexit news: Theresa May is heading to Brussels this week (Image: EPA)

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1.03pm update: Lord Digby predicts who will take over Mrs May

He said Michael Gove could be the next Prime Minister as he is a “brand new fresh face”.

Speaking on Talkradio, the former Trade and Investment Minister predicted: “Specifically now, God forbid Theresa May went under a bus but if she did, in other words sort this out right now, possibly Michael Gove.

"But he’s not your man to go and lead the country in a year or two’s time to another world, which is really frankly what should happen.”

12.53Pm update: Ian Paisley Jr's suspension from the Commons ends on Tuesday

This could mean another vote against Mrs May 

12.37pm update: UK anger as Brussels to announce post-Brexit security force

EU defence ministers will announce the creation of a joint EU spy school today as part of the Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO) military pact.

Previous efforts to deepen intelligence cooperation in the EU were blocked by the UK.

A cross-border spy operation was seen as an unwelcome competition to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance that is made up of the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Great Britain.

However, with the UK leaving the EU by March 2019, London no longer stands in the way of PESCO, Politico reports.

12.16am update: May fights off criticism over her plan

In her keynote speech, Mrs May said: "We are not talking about political theory, but the reality of people's lives and livelihoods. Jobs depend on us getting this right.

"And what we have agreed unashamedly puts our future economic success, and the livelihoods of working families up and down this country, first."

But Brexit-supporting businessman Roger Kendrick challenged the Prime Minister over her plans, which he said would restrict the ability to strike trade deals with countries outside the EU, telling Mrs May: "Think again about the economics of the whole thing."

Mrs May hit back telling him "the portrayal that you have given of what has been agreed is a little inaccurate".

He added: "It makes sense for us to continue having a good trading relationship with the European Union but also have the freedom, which we will have, to sign those trade deals around the rest of the world."

11.43am update: May insisted the transition period would not drag on 

The Tory leader was asked whether provisions in the withdrawal agreement allowing the extension of the UK's transition period might see it drag on beyond the next general election, currently scheduled for June 2022.

She replied: "From my point of view, I think it is important in delivering for the British people that we are out of the implementation period before the next general election."

Under the terms of the draft agreement, the transition is due to last until December 31 2021, but may be extended once only if it proves impossible to complete a full deal on future relations by that date, as an alternative to activating the so-called "backstop" arrangements to keep the Irish border open.

The text of the agreement states that the period may be extended to "20XX" and it remains unclear whether this will be amended to show a fixed maximum date.

11.37am update: Downing Street says May is taking the lead in final days of negotiations 

The prime minister’s spokesman said the Tory leader are still adding details to the outline political declaration before it becomes a final future framework.

He said Brexit negotiations are very much ongoing, and in the coming days there will be intensive talks. 

11.35am update: May vows to battle on with Brexit deal 

In a speech to Britain's premier business lobby, the CBI, which drew loud applause, she said: " We have in view a deal a that will work for the UK and, let no one be in any doubt, I am determined to deliver it. 

"We are not talking about political theory but the reality of people's lives and livelihoods."

11.04am update: May fights back in speech to business leaders 

The Prime Minister said her agreement "is a good one for the UK because it fulfills the wishes of  the people in the UK. She said the agreeement was a "decisive breakthrough" but it is not a final deal." 

Mrs May said her deal would give the UK "control over our boders, control of our money, control of our laws, getting us out of those EU programmes that didnt work in our interest". 

On immigration she said "once we have left the EU we will be fully in control of who comes here" and the deal would be selective around the skills and talents people have to offer. 

Speaking at the CBI annual conference, she said: "We can attract the brightest and best from around the world".

Mrs May said the deal commanded the confidence of the public and "put them in control of who comes to this country."

She said the transition period would "avoid a cliff edge" scenario for businesses.

The Prime Minister said Brexit would ensure "the UK is not just a European hub, but a global hub". 

She said the UK was approaching Brexit "from a position of recovered strength". 

Citing the importance of the automotive industry, Mrs May added: "While the world is changing fast, our geography is not.

"Europe will always be our most proximate goods market, and ensuring we have free-flowing borders is crucial." 

brexit latest

Brexit live: Theresa May speaks during the CBI annual conference (Image: REUTERS )

10.56am update: A no-deal Brexit is not an option - McClarens boss

The boss of carmaker McLaren Automotive said the draft Brexit agreement gives certainty to British business whilst no deal would hinder free trade. 

Mike Flewitt said: "A 'no-deal' Brexit next March is not an option for British business as it would hinder free trade that is important for us and our sector which imports parts and exports globally." 

10.53am update: Businesses are spending hundreds of millions of pounds preparing for a no-deal Brexit

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, said Brexit is "consuming" Government, every politician, every civil servant and British business.

She told the CBI's annual conference in London: "Our firms are spending hundreds of millions of pounds preparing for the worst case - and not one penny of it will create new jobs or new products.

"Investment is flooding out of the right areas like skills and tech, and into areas which do absolutely nothing to help our productivity. Some of it is leaving our country altogether.

"While other countries are forging a competitive future, Westminster seems to be living in its own narrow world, in which extreme positions are being allowed to dominate.

"The result is a high-stakes game of risk, where the outcome could be an accidental no-deal. Surely, we can do better than this?"

brexit live

Brexit live: Brexiteers have launched a revolt against May's exit plan (Image: GETTY )

10.47am update: May to seek support for her Brexit deal from businesses 

The Prime Minister will defend her deal in a speech to the CBI business lobby group at 11am, saying Britain will this week thrash out the details of its outline future relationship with the EU.

She will say: "We now have an intense week of negotiations ahead of us. 

"During that time I expect us to hammer out the full and final details of the framework that will underpin our future relationship, and I am confident that we can strike a deal at the Council that I can take back to the House of Commons," according to advance extracts.

10.41am update: Barnier hits back at suggestions he bullied Britain during Brexit talks 

Mr Barnier told reporters in Brussels that the Prime Minister, through her controversial Chequers plan, was the one to set out the request for a deal based on a customs union.

He said: "If you compare the guidance issued by European Council and the white paper from chequers, there’s a free trade area... the minimum point of departure if you like."

10.36am update: Michel Barnier says EU have agreed on the UK's final withdrawal agreement 

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator said there still needs to be discussions on procedures over how to extend the transition period. 

He said the deal reached between the bloc and London was "fair and balanced".

Mr Barnier told a news conference after briefing 27 national EU ministers that they in general approved of the draft divorce agreement reached last week.

He said: "We are in fact at a decisive moment in this process, no one should lose sight of the progress that has been achieved in Brussels and in London.

"Globally speaking, the deal is fair and balanced.

"In particular, member states support the draft withdrawal agreement. The EU side will still have to decide the internal process for agreeing to extend the transition period."

10.25am update: Piers Morgan turns on Lord Adonis in furious Brexit debate

Labour peer and Remain supporter Lord Adonis insisted the UK should have another Brexit vote now the Government has released what Britain’s departure will look like.

But host Mr Morgan stepped in hinting that Britain should "walk away" from negotiations. 

He said: “Every successful business person I know when they are confronted with a bad deal, do you know what they do? They walk away.

“They walk away and that is how you actually negotiate with implacable people.

“The EU’s only vested interest is making sure this is a bad deal for Britain." 

10.16am update: Fishermen fury at May's Brexit deal

British fishermen claim they have been "screwed over” by the controversial deal struck between the Government and EU officials in Brussels. 

Fish is the only product excluded from the draft customs agreement, with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier threatening to impose tariffs on British fish exports unless access for EU fleets is agreed.

The EU has repeatedly said throughout the talks that it would only allow British exporters tariff- and quota-free access to EU markets in exchange for an agreement that EU fishing fleets can continue to operate in British waters.

Leigh Genge, who leads MD Ocean Fish, admitted that the threat of imminent tariffs “is the biggest uncertainty I’ve faced since I’ve started work here since I’ve been in the business for the past 17 years”.

10.07am update: 'It makes sense to extend transition period' Business Secretary 

Mr Clark was pressed on whether it would be until the end of 2022, and told the BBC: "It would be at our request and that would be a maximum period."

He said it could be extended for a matter of "weeks or months", saying: "If we were six weeks away from concluding a future economic partnership and agreeing that then it may make sense to extend the transition period."

9.42am update: David Davis says over 40 letters of no confidence have been submitted 

The ex-Brexit secretary told Bloomberg News "nobody knows" expect for Graham Brady but he said" "It does sound like a lot. It sounds like over 40". 

The threshold is 48. 

9.11am update: EU leaders call for May's Brexit deal to be kept alive 

Germany's European affairs minister, Michael Roth, said: "No deal better than the one on the table can be reached." 

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told reporters on arrival to talks of national EU ministers about Brexit in Brussels: "Any deal is better than no deal. 

"I think that it's in the interests of the United Kingdom and the European Union that this deal becomes reality."

Belgium's Didier Reynders echoed remarks by the Netherlands' Stef Blok who called for an "ambitious" vision of the EU-British future ties in the political declaration that the sides are working on now to accompany the divorce deal.

Ales Chmelar, Czech Republic, said: "We hope that we will not have to reopen negotiations." 

 brexit-latest

Brexit latest: May is under huge pressure as she faces a vote of no confidence (Image: GETTY )

8.58am update: May deserves praise for her position - Luxembourg

Arriving at the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, said: "Boris Johnson once said 'Britain is leaving the EU, It is not leaving Europe'.

"I think the challenge now is for these Brexit dogmatists to show whether that is true.

"I think Theresa May deserves praise for her position. 'No deal is better than a bad deal' has disappeared. 'Any deal is better than no deal' is now the slogan. That is right.

"This deal that is now on the table is the best there is. There is no better deal for this crazy Brexit."

Asked if he thought Mrs May could survive, Me Asselborn said: "I believe she can convince her party and perhaps a part of parliament which is not on her side, so that this deal can become reality."

8.42am update: Brexit deal won't be altered 

Former president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said there was little prospect of altering the Brexit deal at this stage.

He told the BBC: "On the main parameters what I hear is that there is almost no room for manoeuvre."

Mr Van Rompuy rejected claims that the EU had bullied the UK, stating: "You agree or you don't agree. We agreed and that is nothing to do with bullying or something else."

brexit news

Brexit news: Theresa May faces widespread criticism at home (Image: EPA )

8.30am update: Tory MP insists ‘today is day action is taken’

Tory MP Simon Clarke, who has submitted a letter of no confidence in the Tory leader, said "this day must be the point at which action is taken”.

He said: ”This is absolutely the day at which we stand at the bar of history on this.

"If we continue with this plan we are simply not going to have a government because the clear threat it poses to the integrity of the union is something which our colleagues the DUP will simply put up with.”

Mr Clarke said every hour and every day that the Brexit deal was not rejected, was a day wasted on credible negotiations.

He told BBC Today: ”It is quite clear to me that the captain is driving the ship at the rocks.”

According to reports around 25 have publicly submitted letters, although more could have sent them anonymously.

On Sunday, Mrs May said she was aware that the number had not reached 48, while chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady also confirmed it had not been hit.

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