Labour: May should spell out contingency in case Brexit deal fails


Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said the Government was "falling apart before our eyes as, for a second time, the Brexit Secretary has refused to back the Prime Minister's Brexit plan".

In an apparent response to Ms Weyand's comments, the Prime Minister said: "I am aware of the concerns that there are, that we don't want to be in a position where the European Union would find it comfortable to keep the United Kingdom in the backstop permanently".

May has defended the deal as providing the continuity businesses need while the country and the European Union agree on a long-term trade relationship.

The pound plunged against the dollar and euro Thursday after ministers, including Britain's Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, quit in protest against a draft deal to exit the EU.

One eurosceptic lawmaker in May's Conservative Party said more colleagues were either putting in letters to trigger a no confidence vote in her leadership or were increasingly minded to do so.

Mrs May said it would be "entirely irresponsible" for the Government to have simply torn up the backstop.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey were the two most high-profile resignations that came a day after May presented her deal to Cabinet on Wednesday.

Their departure, and the resignations of two junior ministers, shakes May's divided government.

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The main opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said May's plan represents a huge and damaging failure and does not meet Labor's six tests, an indicator that his party's MPs would vote against her deal.

This outcome, the prime minister earlier insisted before MPs, respected the mandate set out by the United Kingdom referendum result.

"The parliamentary arithmetic has looked tight for some time", Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.

"But one simple fact remains and that is that nobody has produced any alternative proposal which both delivers on the referendum and also ensures that there's no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland", she added.

Much of the opposition to the draft deal has focused on the Irish backstop, yet May insisted before MPs earlier that this was an insurance policy which neither side wanted to have to use.

The hard issue in the talks was the Northern Irish "backstop", an insurance policy to avoid a return to controls between the British province and EU-member Ireland which could threaten the 1998 peace accord which ended 30 years of violence.

And some of her own backbenchers warned her it could not command support in the House of Commons, if it is put to a vote.

Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party - which May relies on to prop up her minority government - was also damning in his assessment of the deal, saying the Prime Minister "clearly doesn't listen".

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A group of hardline Brexiteers, led by MP Jacob Rees-Mogg submitted a letter of no-confidence in May.

Only committee chairman Graham Brady knows for sure how many missives have been sent, but Rees-Mogg's letter is likely to spur others to do the same.

In an evening news conference aimed at regaining some control, May said she believed "with every fiber of my being that the course I have set out is the right one for our country and all our people".

"If she decides to go against all of that, then there will be consequences", DUP leader Arlene Foster said, though she refrained from explicitly opposing the deal.

Mrs May says the deal "delivers what people voted for".

These decisions were not taken lightly - but I believe it is a decision that is firmly in the national interest.

European Union leaders are ready to meet on November 25 to sign off on the divorce deal, or Withdrawal Agreement, but the drama is in London with some lawmakers openly questioning whether the government will survive.

So, a lot of people are saying it is a awful deal and all the people who wanted to remain within the European Union are saying "it is a worse deal than what we have at the moment".

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