British Prime Minister Theresa May says she would not compromise with Brussels over her plans for Brexit.
Her remarks come after a media report said rivals in her party were set to publish their own proposal calling for a cleaner break with the European Union.
May is trying to sell what she calls her business-friendly Brexit to her own party and across a divided country in less than two months before the U.K. and EU reach a deal.
“I will not be pushed into accepting compromises on the Chequers proposals that are not in our national interest.
“The coming months will be critical in shaping the future of our country and I am clear about my mission,” May wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
The EU had tentatively welcomed what has become known as the Chequers plan, which is designed to protect cross-border trade.
May also said she would not hold a second referendum on Britain’s EU exit.
“To ask the question all over again would be a gross betrayal of our democracy,” May said.
May’s plan would keep Britain in a free-trade zone with the EU for manufactured and agricultural goods.
However, some Brexit supporters have said it would mean parts of the British economy would still be subject to rules set in Brussels.
A divided party
Two of May’s most senior lawmakers – Boris Johnson and David Davis – quit as foreign secretary and Brexit secretary respectively in July to protest May’s plan.
They argued it did not go far enough and would let down the millions of people who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.
A report in the Sunday Times newspaper said leading Brexiteer lawmakers in the ruling Conservative party were ready to publish their own plan for Brexit ahead of the party’s annual conference which begins at the end of September.
Reports say it would be designed to heap pressure on May, who needs to get any deal with Brussels through parliamentary votes in Westminster before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29 next year.
May reiterated that Britain would be ready to leave the EU without a deal if the two sides cannot agree on the divorce terms.