This Deal or No Brexit – Theresa May after Cabinet Meeting (UPDATED)
The British Prime Minister Theresa May said “The collective decision of the cabinet was to agree with the agreement reached.” She added “I believe what I owe to this country is to take decisions in the best interest of the whole country. I believe with my heart and my mind that this is the best decision in the interest of the entire United Kingdom”. “It is either this deal or no Brexit at all”, she said.
Sky Report from Ten Downing Street
The Liberal Democrat leader said that “If Theresa May is still struggling to get this deal past her own cabinet in No. 10, how will it win support in Parliament or the country? There’s a sensible way out of this mess: go back to the country for a People’s Vote”
Senior Brexiteer Conservative MP tells Telegraph’s editor letters of no confidence are “tantalisingly close” to the 48 letters necessary to trigger a leadership battle.
The marathon meeting of Theresa May’s cabinet is “breaking up now”, according to a Number 10 source. – Times/Sky
Conor Burns, an ally of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, has been speaking to our political correspondent Tom Rayner. He says the agreement is the “worst of all worlds” and ominously adds: “There comes a point where if the PM is insistent that she will not change the policy, then the only way to change the policy is to change the personnel.”
Reports claim that Theresa May might vote a vote of no confidence as Brexiteers express their anger on the ‘agreement’.
Opposition Leaders have asked Theresa May to present address the House of Commons prior to speaking to the media.
The full letter follows
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to you as a matter of urgency to demand that you make a statement to the House of Commons on the withdrawal agreement and future framework between the EU and the UK.
Your Ministerial Code is clear that important statements of policy should be made to the House of Commons first and not to the press.
It is entirely inappropriate for you to brief the press, through a press conference as we understand you plan to do this evening before coming to the House to make a statement and to be questioned by elected members of Parliament.
Mr Speaker made clear earlier that he would be willing to facilitate a Statement from you at any time today.
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party
Ian Blackford MP, SNP Westminster Leader
Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Liz Saville Roberts MP, Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader
Caroline Lucas MP, Co-Leader of the Green Party
The meeting started at 2pm (GMT) and was expected to last three hours, so we should hear from May around 5pm. However reports are saying that the cabinet meeting is expected to go beyond 7pm.
Wednesday’s cabinet meeting comes after negotiators in Brussels ended months of talks by agreeing Britain’s terms for leaving the EU. Cabinet ministers were given their first sight of the draft withdrawal treaty and an accompanying outline of a political declaration on the future EU/UK relationship on Tuesday evening; Number 10 was relieved that none of them resigned overnight.
The Cabinet meeting on the Brexit deal represent the most dangerous moments in Theresa May’s premiership.
Meanwhile EU27 ambassadors meeting on the Brexit Deal has broken up.
Meanwhile, the EU leaders would gather in Brussels later this month to confirm Theresa May’s Brexit deal if her Cabinet approves the latest draft, Ireland’s prime minister has said. Leo Varadkar told the Irish parliament that the date of the planned summit was now 25 November, a Sunday. He also revealed that a draft text on the 500-page agreement could be made public on Wednesday evening if discussions in the UK cabinet go smoothly.
Civil servants have been told to remove DUP contacts from planning emails which the Northern Irish party would previously have been looped in to. The Independent understands government officials were given the order on Tuesday as the Tory leadership prepared to push Theresa May’s Brexit deal through cabinet.
In another sign of deep cracks in Tory relations with the DUP, it emerged on Wednesday that the prime minister had still not spoken to the party’s leader about the draft Brexit deal and it was unclear if she intended to before the document was published.
Based on reports on Sky, The Guardian, BBC, FT and The Independent.