As we reported from news.sky.com ” Theresa May has declared her intent to head back to Brussels to secure “legally-binding” change to her Brexit deal, with her focus on altering the backstop arrangement.
She told MPs she will call on Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, her de facto deputy, in her efforts to alter the agreement.
But, the prime minister’s decision to rely on Mr Lidington – who supported Remain at the 2016 referendum and also played a key role in David Cameron’s failed renegotiation effort prior to the Brexit vote – has angered one of her former cabinet ministers.
In an interview with The House magazine, Mr Raab said: “The problem is that if David Lidington is leading it – and he’s one of the most brilliant ministers that we’ve got and he’s got huge diplomatic expertise – I sense there’ll be a perception, perhaps unfairly, that this is a guy who wanted us to stay in the EU.
“He also was negotiating the Cameron deal. Is he really going to have the kind of Brexiteer credentials to get this deal delivered in a way that is palatable back home?
“I’m hopeful that we’ll get some compromise from the EU, but it’s probably 50/50.
“The problem is that if we get some substantive compromise which has to be weighed up, the risk is if you don’t have a Brexiteer leading that process, that actually we haven’t fought hard enough for it.
“Whether that’s fair or not, that’s probably the perception.
“There may be also a perception that they don’t have to give so much in Brussels to someone who was on the Remain campaign side and is widely seen as an advocate of the customs union option.”
Mr Raab quit the government in November last year in protest at Mrs May’s Brexit deal and continued his criticism with a claim ministers have been “too grey and gloomy about the whole exercise”.
Brexiteers have targeted the make-up of the prime minister’s negotiating team ahead of her fresh demand for concessions from Brussels.
Ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker this week claimed it was “a stupid mistake” to fail to call upon Crawford Falconer, the chief trade negotiation adviser at the Department for International Trade
Mrs May has been forced to renegotiate her Brexit deal after it was overwhelmingly rejected by MPs last month.
Much of the hostility to her agreement focused on the backstop, which is an insurance policy aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland if a future UK-EU trade relationship doesn’t avert such a scenario.
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