20/02/2018 21:53 GMT | Updated 21/02/2018 10:28 GMT

Tory Brexiteer MPs Set Out Demands To Theresa May, Including 'Free Trade Immediately'

62 members of European Research Group sign letter to PM.

Conservative MPs have written to Theresa May with a list of demands for Brexit ahead of a crunch meeting of senior Cabinet ministers.

More than 60 Tories have warned the UK  must have full control over laws after Brexit and must not become a “rule taker”.

Britain must not be stopped from negotiating and signing trade deals during any transition period, they said.

The letter was sent by the European Research Group (ERG), made up of Tory Eurosceptics, and was signed by 62 MPs, including former Cabinet ministers Priti Patel and Iain Duncan Smith, and Tory grassroots favourite, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

It includes a number of “suggestions” for securing a successful Brexit, including “taking control” of World Trade Organisation tariff schedules that regulate trading.

The Government should publish a mandate showing how the UK wants to approach trade with the rest of the world.

“The UK must be free to start its own trade negotiations immediately,” the letter adds.

“The UK should negotiate as an equal partner. Ministers may not want or be able to accept the EU’s timing and mandates as fixed, and should be able to set out alternative terms including, for example, building an agreement based on our World Trade Organisation membership instead.

“Any ‘implementation period’ should be based on WTO principles. Any implementation period must not restrain the UK from negotiating or signing other trade agreements.”

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Jacob Rees-Mogg, one of 62 Tory MPs to sign the letter. 

The Prime Minister will hold a meeting of the Brexit sub-committee on Thursday to thrash out agreement on the next stages of the process.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, a supporter of the Best for Britain against Brexit, said: “It seems the Prime Minister has one arm tied behind her back by the Tory militants who are now nakedly acting like a party within a party.

“Not satisfied with hijacking the referendum result for their own extreme ends, now May’s militants, now called Maymentum, are hijacking the Conservative party – one nation pro business common sense Tories must fight back for the good of our country.

“And the PM must listen to the people, not to the far-right faction who are launching this shameless coup.”