May fights for survival after Brexit deal sparks crisis Reuters, London

Reuters

Michael Gove and four other Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers will try to force Theresa May into a last-minute change to the Brexit deal as the price for withdrawing their threats to resign.

Mr Barclay's appointment came after Mr Gove reportedly turned down the post, saying he would only take it if he could renegotiate the European Union withdrawal agreement.

May is battling to win over rebels in her Conservative Party and and to preserve her position as prime minister after a grueling week in which party members plotted to oust her and two Cabinet ministers quit within hours of her government striking the long-sought divorce agreement with the EU.

May told LBC radio the threat of a no deal Brexit was personal as she is Type 1 diabetic: "I depend on insulin every day".

Pressure has been mounting on the Prime Minister to row back on her commitment to this Chequers-based proposal, which has split the Conservative party.

McVey, the jobs minister, said in her letter it is "no good trying to pretend to (voters) this deal honors the result of the referendum when it is obvious to everyone that it doesn't".

Ms Rudd said she was "delighted" to be given the role, and saw it as her job to "try to iron out" the issues with Universal Credit.

Some Conservative Brexiteers who are unhappy with the agreement have also been submitting letters of no-confidence in Mrs May.

Labour whips are now confident, however, that very few - if any - Labour MPs will back May's deal because they have concluded it would also be disastrous for their constituents, leaving Britain locked into the EU's economic system for the foreseeable future but with no say in setting the rules that govern it.


The current draft is a provisional agreement until both sides can agree a final pact for their future trading relationship and sets out commitments over citizens' rights after Brexit, the proposed 21-month transition period, and a 39 billion-pound so-called "divorce bill" that the United Kingdom would pay as a price to exit the economic bloc.

The 585-page document sets out the terms of the UK's departure, including details such as how much money will be paid to the European Union, details of the transition period and citizens' rights.

And a source said of Theresa May's deal: "Even if you don't mind it ideologically, you can't be fooled about getting it through the Commons".

Andrea Leadsom, the minister in charge of government business in parliament, has told the BBC that she was supporting May but was not fully happy with the deal.

Asked about the actions of Tory Brexiteers, Ms James, who is digital minister said: "I think it's beneath contempt".

Ireland's foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said on Saturday that British pro-Brexit ministers were "not living in the real world" if they thought they could renegotiate the divorce treaty agreed with the European Union last week.

Under Conservative Party rules, if a leader survives a confidence vote they can not be challenged again for another 12 months.

'If a general election isn't triggered soon, we need a People's Vote'. The premier then faces the tougher prospect of getting British MPs to approve this in Parliament, with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her minority Tory government, threatening to vote down the deal. But that's not what Sarah Mayall, holding aloft a white placard reading "Leave Means Leave", says she wanted in 2016 when she ticked the box to leave the EU.

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

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