British PM battles for survival over Brexit deal

British PM battles for survival over Brexit deal thumbnail
LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May battled for her political survival on Thursday as ministers resigned and members of her own party plotted to oust her over a draft Brexit deal struck with Brussels this week.

May tried to defend her draft Brexit deal before a hostile parliament after two cabinet ministers including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, and two junior ministers quit the government.

May insisted that her proposed EU withdrawal agreement was the best deal Britain could hope to strike when it leaves the European Union on March 29, warning that the only alternatives were leaving with no deal or not leaving at all.

But members of parliament on all sides told her that there was no way it could pass their approval, with arch-Brexiteers and EU loyalists alike insisting it was already sunk.

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

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”.

At least 48 such letters from Conservative MPs are required to trigger a vote of no-confidence in the party leader, but a majority of the party’s 315 lawmakers would have to vote against May in order for her to be ousted.



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