Frank Field: Worth Giving Theresa May's Brexit Deal "Some Life"

Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn. Credit PA

One backbencher, who told me they may well vote against the Brexit divorce deal Mrs May has struck with the European Union, nonetheless said they stood behind her leadership, describing efforts to seek a confidence vote as ridiculous.

The backstop would see the United Kingdom remain in a customs relationship with the EU.

There has been silence from Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs responsible for counting the letters and declaring when the threshold of 48 has been crossed.

The Brexiteer Commons leader said she supports the Prime Minister but suggested there is an opportunity before a special European Council meeting on November 25 to get "the best possible deal for the UK".

Mrs May is sticking resolutely to her strategy in the face of hostility from opposition parties, her supposed allies in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, and members of her own party. The head of government also said that a change of prime minister would make talks far more hard for London and would also threaten to delay Brexit or even prevent it from happening.

"Mrs May will be invited", a diplomat said, "But even if something explosive happens and she can't come, it will go ahead regardless". Aides to some pro-Brexit cabinet ministers have hinted that they wish to change the agreement before it is signed off.

Asked if he had confidence in Ms May, Mr Gove, who is famous for sinking former foreign minister Boris Johnson's leadership bid in 2016, told reporters: "I absolutely do".

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood, a Government loyalist and MP for Bournemouth East, said: "I fully recognise the call for a people's vote in relation to honouring the will of the people, which may well be different now than it was in 2016".

The long-awaited draft Brexit agreement was finally published, sparking ministerial resignations, including that of the Brexit secretary, and a parade of MPs brandishing letters of no confidence in the prime minister.


On Friday evening, it emerged that Mrs Leadsom hopes to work with the four other ministers to change a specific part of the draft withdrawal deal regarding what is known as the Irish backstop - one of the main sticking points in talks with Brussels.

Mrs Braverman said: 'I do want the prime minister to continue but I want us to stick to the policies that were voted for in the referendum.

Mr Barclay had not been widely regarded as a front runner for the new Brexit ministerial post and has not been thought of as a prominent spokesman for the vote leave campaign.

South Staffordshire MP and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "I'm very supportive of the Prime Minister".

He told Sky News Sunday that his party will vote against the deal and demanded that May return to Brussels and renegotiate the divorce agreement. "It is the future relationship that delivers on the Brexit vote".

But winning a leadership vote could strengthen her position, because the rules say she can't be challenged again for a year.

Fellow Tory donor Choudrey, the chief executive of conglomerate Bestway, who gave the party over £300,000 in the run-up to the 2015 General Election, urged people to "get behind the PM, and support her and her deal" - claiming no one else offered a "credible alternative".

"For the first time in a generation or more we will decide who comes to this country and, just as importantly, who does not", the defiant prime minister said.

"The deal does not secure frictionless trade, nor a single market or customs union, contains no commitment to workers" rights and regulation, nor our environment, no European Arrest Warrant, no retainment of Europol arrangements, no collaboration with key agencies like EASA and Erasmus.

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