Quantcast
Connect with us

Theresa May fights for survival after Brexit deal sparks crisis

Published

on

British Prime Minister Theresa May was fighting for survival on Friday after a draft divorce deal with the European Union provoked the resignations of senior ministers and mutiny in her party.

More than two years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, it is still unclear how, on what terms or even if it will leave the EU as planned on March 29, 2019.

ADVERTISEMENT

May, who won the top job in the turmoil that followed the 2016 referendum, has sought to negotiate a Brexit deal that ensures that the United Kingdom leaves in the smoothest way possible.

But Brexit minister Dominic Raab resigned on Thursday over her deal, sending the pound tumbling. Mutinous lawmakers in her own party openly sought to challenge her leadership and bluntly told her that the Brexit deal would not pass parliament.

May, who has vowed to stay on as prime minister, was asked by a caller on an LBC radio phone-in on Friday to “respectfully stand down”. She did not immediately address that part of the caller’s question.

“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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gove, 51, gave no comment when asked outside his house whether he would support May. The BBC said May had offered him the job of Brexit minister but he had rejected the job.

Media reports, citing sources close to Gove who torpedoed former foreign minister Boris Johnson’s leadership bid in 2016 at the last minute, will stay as environment minister.

Sterling, which has see-sawed on Brexit news since the referendum, was flat at $1.2783 on Friday, down almost three cents since a deal was struck on Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brexit will pitch the world’s fifth largest economy into the unknown. Many fear it will divide the West as it grapples with both the unconventional U.S. presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russia and China.

Amid the deepest political turmoil since the Suez canal crisis, when in 1956 Britain was forced by the United States to withdraw its troops from Egypt, the ultimate outcome remains uncertain.

BREXIT CHALLENGE
Scenarios include May’s deal ultimately winning approval; May losing her job; Britain leaving the bloc with no agreement; or even another referendum.

ADVERTISEMENT

To leave the EU on the terms of her deal, May would need to get the backing of about 320 of parliament’s 650 lawmakers. The deal is due to be discussed at an EU summit on Nov. 25.

Some lawmakers in May’s Conservative Party have said they have submitted letters of no confidence. When 48 letters are submitted to the party’s so-called 1922 committee, she will face a leadership challenge.

Politicians, officials and diplomats in London openly questioned how long May had left as speculation swirled around London that a leadership challenge could come soon.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sky said government whips, who enforce discipline in the party, had been summoned to parliament as a challenge was close. If a confidence vote is called among her lawmakers, May would need a simple majority of the total votes in order to win.

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.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that the DUP had demanded May be replaced as prime minister.

“Oh I haven’t had a testy exchange with Arlene,” May said. “They’ve raised some questions with us, they’ve raised some concerns with us and yes we are looking at those.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are still working with the DUP,” she said.

NIGHTMARE FOR BUSINESS?
The EU and Britain need an agreement to keep trade flowing between the world’s biggest trading bloc and the United Kingdom, home to the biggest international financial center.

May said she felt the threat of a no deal Brexit personally as she was Type 1 diabetic: “I depend on insulin every day. My insulin is produced by a country elsewhere in the European Union.”

British aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce said it was continuing with its contingency plans.

ADVERTISEMENT

The plans include “buffer stocks so that we have all the logistical capacity that we need to carry on running our business,” said Chief Executive Warren East.

Supporters of Brexit say that while the divorce might bring some short-term instability, in the longer term it will allow the United Kingdom to thrive and also enable deeper EU integration without such a powerful reluctant member.

Meanwhile, proponents of closer relations with the EU in her own party and the Labour opposition say the deal squanders the advantages of membership for little gain.

“It is … mathematically impossible to get this deal through the House of Commons. The stark reality is that it was dead on arrival,” said Conservative Brexit-supporting lawmaker Mark Francois.

Additional reporting by Andrew MacAskill, Andy Bruce and Alistair Smout; writing by Michael Holden and Guy Faulconbridge. Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, William Maclean

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump announces toughest sanctions ‘ever’ on Iran

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Friday announced new sanctions on Iran's central bank, calling the measures the toughest ever imposed on another country by the United States.

"We have just sanctioned the Iranian national bank," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

"These are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country," he said.

The Trump administration has vowed a response after US officials blamed Iran for weekend blasts on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which caused a sharp hike in global crude prices.

The United States already maintains sweeping sanctions on Iran including on its central bank, with anyone who deals with it subject to prosecution.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump uncorks bizarre rant on ‘clean coal’ in Oval Office: ‘When you talk minerals, it’s about digging’

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Friday uncorked a strange and nonsensical rant about the virtues of so-called "clean coal" during an Oval Office conversation with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

When asked about the importance of Australia's mineral industry, the president praised the country for doing so much to extract resources in what he described in an environmentally friendly way.

"Coal, as an example, you're the leader of safety in coal digging and we've actually studied it," the president said. "We're doing a lot of coal. You have very little -- you have almost no -- used to have a thing, black lung disease, and in Australia you almost don't have it anymore, you've got all of the dust down."

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

The View explodes in confusion after Meghan McCain makes Trump’s Ukraine debacle all about herself

Published

on

Meghan McCain managed to place herself at the center of a debate about a whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump.

"The View" grappled with reports that Trump dangled U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for damaging information against Joe Biden, and co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that was an impeachable offense -- but expressed doubts about the accuracy.

"This is a blown-up story and we have no facts, there's no gray area," Huntsman said. "It's black and white, and that would give Trump all the more ammunition if this isn't even true to say, this is what the media does."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image