Economy

Huge blow to May as two Brexit-backing ministers quit the Cabinet

Huge blow to May as two Brexit-backing ministers quit the Cabinet

Prime Minister Theresa May has said her draft agreement on Britain's departure from the European Union is the only way to avoid a no-deal Brexit as she faced political attacks from all sides, including a threat of a no-confidence vote from inside her own party.

Saying her deal is "in national interest" and calls on country to "unite behind" the deal.

"The people need to tell us: in the light of all we now know what do you want to do?" We can risk no Brexit at all.

Theresa May won the support of her cabinet for a draft European Union divorce deal but faces an anxious wait for a possible leadership challenge from angry Brexiteers.

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 Mrs May in order for her to be ousted. He handed in a letter to the party's parliamentary committee in the House of Commons.

Amid feverish speculation about possible Cabinet resignations, Leave-backing Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg called on ministers to reject the proposed agreement, which they fear could lock Britain in the EU's customs union indefinitely, blocking its ability to strike new trade deals elsewhere.

"I can not reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto", he said in his resignation letter.

In a bid to solidify her power and the stated goal of ensuring a "strong and stable" government would be seated at the Brexit negotiations, May called a general election for June 2017.

Allies of Theresa May have launched a desperate bid to woo rebel Tory MPs by floating the prospect of a better deal on Brexit, HuffPost UK has learned.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab - who only took over in the summer after David Davis resigned in protest over the Prime Minister's withdrawal strategy - said he "cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU".

She said: "Delivering Brexit involves hard choices for all of us..."

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Failure would delay the final settlement until a formal Brussels summit in mid-December, leaving little time for May to get the deal and associated legislation through parliament.

The quirky largely Protestant Northern Ireland party May's minority government relies on to stay in office has said it will vote against the draft Brexit agreement when it formally comes before Parliament next month.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC's Radio 4 that lawmakers should back the draft divorce agreement because the alternatives were "ugly". Failing that, the party said that it would consider all other options, including a second referendum.

Supporters of Brexit admit there may be some short-term pain for Britain's $2.9 trillion economy, but say that, in the long term, it will prosper when cut free from the EU - which they cast as a failing German-dominated experiment in European integration.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "very happy" that the European Union and Britain had reached a draft agreement but French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned the prospect of Britain crashing out without a deal was "still on the table".

So far MPs in the East of England have held their tongues as they wait for more detail over the Brexit agreement.

From the inception of Brexit talks, the Labour Party has made clear that any deal that doesn't meet a high standard of protections for workers in all regions of the United Kingdom would be emphatically rejected.

In a statement issued by City Hall, Khan, who backs a second referendum, said: "It's crystal clear that this is a bad deal for London and the United Kingdom that will worsen life chances and reduce the opportunities available to the next generation".

Labour said the Government was "falling apart before our eyes" and the pound dropped sharply after Mr Raab's resignation.

"It's devastating because he's been aware of all of these things and has clearly been raising these alarm bells with the prime minister, but it sounds like he has been ignored", he said. "Stop the clock and go back to Brussels".