British Prime Minister Theresa May has asked her opponents to support her Brexit blueprint, the so-called Chequers plan. She warned that rejecting it would mean leaving the European Union without an agreement.
"My deal or no deal." Those were the only options for members of parliament, May said in an interview with the BBC. "The alternative to that will be having no deal," she said in reply to a question on what choice would be left should parliament decide not to approve her plan.
The UK will leave the EU on March 29th, 2019 but the details are still unclear. May’s conservative government remains divided over what the economic relationship with the bloc should look like in the future.
The Chequers plan refers to the position the British government agreed on when they met at the country residence of the Prime Minister, which is called Chequers, or Chequers Court. The meeting took place in July and the Foreign Secretary at the time, Boris Johnson, and Brexit Minister David Davis resigned shortly after.
They joined other conservative Brexit-backers to push for a clean break with the EU. Some hardliners wanted a "hard Brexit", meaning an exit without a deal. May did not want to move away from her proposal, which is to keep the UK aligned to EU rules after Brexit in return for free trade in goods and agricultural products.
BBC News reported that Johnson said May's Brexit negotiations were heading for a "spectacular political car crash" that would leave the UK in "the ditch with a total write-off of Brexit." The argument for leaving the EU without a free-trade agreement is that the UK would be free to strike new trade deals around the world.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde poured cold water on that notion on September 17th, saying "all the likely Brexit scenarios will have costs for the UK economy." The IMF says that even a good deal will mean new barriers to trade, according to AP.
As part of the EU, the UK currently enjoys freedom for goods, services, money and people to move across borders with 27 other countries. Brexit will see the end of some of those arrangements.