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Disaster: Brexit minister, three others resign from May’s cabinet over draft agreement

16 November, 2018, 08:43 | Author: Sara Gill
  • May defended the agreement to a group of MPs from her own Conservative party ahead of a meeting with her cabinet

He was followed out of the government by Work and Pensions Secretary Esther Mcvey.

Six government ministers, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, one of the architects of the deal, quit Thursday as the prime minister faced a barrage of criticism over the plan in Parliament, raising the possibility that she could face a challenge to her leadership.

Late Thursday, May announced she would hold another press conference this evening - with speculation she would have to address the growing rebellion against both the deal and her prime ministership, or even call a snap general election.

Britain's long-simmering divisions over its future in the European Union erupted into turmoil just a day after the government agreed to a divorce deal with the bloc.

"It's devastating because he's been aware of all of these things and has clearly been raising these alarm bells with the prime minister, but it sounds like he has been ignored", he said.

"In reaction, the pound has crashed down from its giddy heights, and if a vote of no confidence is called then we can expect further losses".

This is a developing story. "It will take place on Sunday 25th November at 9:30", Tusk said.

On the issue of the border in Ireland, May said the withdrawal agreement has set out an insurance policy should a permanent new UK-EU relationship not be ready by the time the implementation period ends at the end of 2019.

She added: "Leadership is about taking the right decisions, not the easy ones".

May and her supporters say the alternatives to her deal - leaving the bloc without a deal or a second vote on Brexit - are not realistic options.


A number of Parliamentary Private Secretaries have also resigned in recent months, including Leaver Andrea Jenkyns, who resigned May, to focus on Brexit.

It also needs approval from Britain's Parliament before the United Kingdom leaves the bloc on March 29 - and even if May survives as leader, the chances of that look slim.

May will also need the backing of the 10 Northern Ireland MPs from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Opposition parties also signaled they would vote against the agreement.

May insisted the draft deal would protect jobs, trade, security co-operation, the Northern Ireland peace process and an open Irish border.

Main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said May should withdraw the "half-baked" Brexit deal and that Parliament "cannot and will not accept a false choice between this deal and no deal".

An EU official warned that Britain was unlikely to get a better deal.

"On both sides, we have exhausted our margin of manoeuvre", an official said, adding: "We think it is the best we can we can do with the constraints we have on both sides".

"We have been preparing for no-deal and we continue to prepare for no-deal because I recognise that we have a further stage of negotiation with the European council and then that deal when finalised. has to come back to this House", she said.

In Brussels, where some European Union officials hold out hope that Britain will change its mind about Brexit, officials watched the political upheaval with interest.

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