Alternative Brexit plans won't solve border issue - May

Leroy Wright
November 19, 2018

Thursday began with good news for May when European Council President Donald Tusk announced plans for a special summit on November 25 for leaders to sign off the Brexit deal.

The resignation of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has prompted 21 Conservative MPs to submit letters of no confidence to the PM.

Some in the Labour Party have called for a second referendum to give the public final say on the Brexit deal.

There has been widespread criticism of the 585-page withdrawal agreement - published alongside a far shorter document setting out what the United Kingdom and EU's future relationship could look like - which is set be signed off at a special summit next week.

By seeking to preserve the closest possible ties with the EU, May has upset her party's many advocates of a clean break, and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her minority government.

Mr Raab said that while the agreement was "fatally flawed" it is not too late to change that.

Even if such a vote is triggered, the Prime Minister could survive and would then be granted immunity for a year from any fresh attempt to end her leadership.

"She has done a sterling job on behalf of the United Kingdom for the last 24 months, and [the deal] is what it is".

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a key supporter of Brexit, is among the most prominent of Conservative MPs to write to the chairman of the 1922 Committee calling for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May.

"A change of leadership at this point isn't going to make the negotiations any easier and it's not going to change the parliamentary arithmetic".

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"I haven't appointed a new Brexit Secretary yet but of course I will be doing that over the course of the next day or so", May said when asked if she had offered it to Michael Gove, the most prominent Brexit-supporting minister in her government.

May said negotiations were continuing and she meant to go to Brussels and meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Brady told BBC Radio on Sunday the 48 threshold had not yet been reached.

Sir Graham said he found the suggestion he had received 48 letters but not acted on it to be "slightly offensive".

He said: "On behalf of the Government, I have introduced legislation to Parliament to enable these arrangements to continue, which should help the almost 200,000 British pensioners living across Europe and the many constituents who travel to Europe on holiday". The British parliament is expected to vote on it in early December.

"However I know Steve Barclay is a committed brexiteer and I have always found him to be an honourable man and a committed MP, so I hope he uses this role to push for change and a proper Brexit". If an agreed deal on leaving between the Govt and the European Union is voted down by purist Brexiteers, do not be surprised if consensus on accepting the result of the Referendum by Remain voting MPs breaks down.

He also warned against looking "like we're afraid of our own shadow".

She also faces the genuine risk of a no confidence vote. Theresa May's "deal"' is in two parts - a withdrawal agreement that includes half-baked proposals for a backstop, and a political declaration that is incredibly vague and opens the gate to a hard Tory Brexit.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was "no question" of reopening talks as a document was "on the table".

"Rather than trying to please the Prime Minister, the Scottish Tories should be listening to their constituents who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. In any case, as the EU Presidency, we have made all the preparations to move forward swiftly".

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