U.K.'s May tells critics it's her Brexit deal or chaos

Daniel Fowler
November 16, 2018

May has so far remained defiant, saying in the Commons on Thursday, "The choice is clear".

"I understand why you have chosen to pursue the deal with the European Union on the terms proposed, and I respect the different views held in good faith by all of our colleagues".

With just weeks left before Brexit date, May still managed to get the 585-page compromise past her divided cabinet yesterday, clearing just one of several hurdles before it can be approved.

May did not receive unanimous support from her Cabinet for a deal, which was not put to a vote among Cabinet members.

The future of Theresa May as Britain's Prime Minister was in doubt on Thursday after a draft Brexit agreement finalised after months of fractious talks with Brussels triggered a series of resignations and a growingchallenge to her leadership.

As she spoke, the European Research Group of Brexit hardliners met in a parliamentary committee room to plot her removal.

"It now seems probable that a vote of no confidence will be tabled, with some reports stating that the requisite 48 letters will be sent by lunchtime".

ERG chief Jacob Rees-Mogg submitted a letter of no-confidence in the prime minister saying that "it would be in the interest of the party and the country if she were to stand aside".

"When even the Brexit Secretary who, theoretically at least, negotiated the deal says 'I can not support the proposed deal, ' what faith does that give anyone else in this place or in the country?"

They said British negotiators would get a frosty reception if they return looking for major amendments to the proposed deal, arguing several European Union national governments believe too much was given away to Britain already.

Britain's Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab announced his resignation on Thursday.

Among other Cabinet ministers to resign is Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, who told May the agreement does not "honor the result of the referendum, indeed it does not meet the tests you set from the outset of your premiership".

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"The government is in chaos", Corbyn said.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government is in turmoil after two ministers quit in opposition to her Brexit deal, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab. That prompted a big fall in the value of the pound, which was trading 1.3 percent lower at $1.2829. This deal, which delivers on the vote of the referendum, which brings back control of our money, laws and borders; ends free movement; protects jobs, security and our union; or leave with no deal; or no Brexit at all.

Ms May insisted her deal did "deliver on the vote of the British people".

The German chancellor said that a no-deal Brexit would be the "worst and most chaotic scenario" but clearly signalled her reluctance to yield more ground to the British side.

"'No deal' is not pretty", Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4.

And then there is also the remote possibility that Britain holds a second referendum on Brexit, in which case it might have to go through all this all over again.

Earlier, May spent three hours addressing parliament, defending her deal to critics from all parties including her own. First, I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom.

And Conservative Party MP Peter Bone, a leading pro-Brexit lawmaker, accused May of "not delivering the Brexit people voted for". The resignations suggest that it is deeply split, which bodes poorly for the deal's chances in Parliament.

Britain's opposition Labour Party said the government was "falling apart". He said May was "losing the confidence of Conservative members of Parliament".

"We are a proud nation and it is a sad day when we are reduced to obeying rules made by other countries who have shown that they do not have our best interests at heart", he said.

Meanwhile in Brussels, Tusk heaped praise on the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, who had "achieved the two most important objectives" for the bloc - limiting the damage caused by Britain's impending departure and maintaining the interests of the other 27 countries that will remain in the European Union after Brexit.

Late last night, May drew battle lines over what the options are over the draft Brexit deal.

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