British PM fights rebellion over Brexit deal

British PM fights rebellion over Brexit deal

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British Prime Minister Theresa May battled to salvage a draft Brexit deal and her political future on Thursday, as ministers resigned and members of her own party plotted to oust her.
The Conservative leader said she believed with “every fibre of my being” in the Brexit course she had set, hours after facing a hostile parliament and seeing four ministers, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, quit the government.
Members of parliament on all sides warned her there was no way the plan could win their approval, but she dismissed calls to quit, saying: “Am I going to see this through? Yes!”.
The prime minister accepted there were “concerns about the backstop” solution to the Irish border question within the deal, which Brexit supporters said could keep Britain tied indefinitely into a customs union.
They also believe May has conceded too much to Brussels in other key areas, while EU supporters are calling for a second referendum on a final deal.
May said there would not be a second vote “as far as I’m concerned”.
The 585-page draft aims to ensure a smooth divorce from the EU after more than four decades of membership and outlines a transition period for both sides to adjust to the break.
Key provisions seek to avoid a hard border between EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland, protect citizens’ rights and settle Britain’s last bill.
Amid the political turmoil, the pound dropped by 2.0 percent against the dollar to a one-month low and a similar amount against the euro.
The European Research Group of Brexit hardliners met to plot her removal on Thursday, with leader Jacob Rees-Mogg submitting a letter of no-confidence in the prime minister saying: “It would be in the interest of the party and the country if she were to stand aside.”
At least 48 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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