Theresa May is struggling to sell her Brexit deal to MPs and the public. Two members of her cabinet have already quit over the deal, and backbench Tory MPs are calling for her resignation.
On Wednesday, Theresa May got majority cabinet approval for the 585-page draft agreement she had negotiated with the EU, but at least ten cabinet ministers made clear their serious reservations about the text. Nonetheless, May announced her government would commend the deal to the House and has spent Thursday morning trying to convince MPs across the house to vote for her deal rather than risk no deal or push for a People’s Vote.
The resignations of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey have thrown the government into disarray, with it increasingly likely that deal will have no majority in the House, as it fails to meet the aspirations and hopes of either Brexiteers or Remainers, leaving no-one happy at all.
In a fiery Prime Minister’s Questions, May faced a grilling from MPs across the aisle, with a significant number of MPs making clear they could not vote for her compromises and very few showing their support. In a telling exchange, the Prime Minister was asked whether her deal would be a better deal for the UK than the current agreement as part of the European Union, which she avoided answering.
Leading Brexiteers Jacob Reese-Mogg asked May directly whether he should submit his letter to the Conservative 1922 Committee and push for a leadership challenge. The number of letters received by the 1922 Committee remains a secret, but there are increasing rumours that a leadership challenge could be imminent.
Labour says the deal is not what the country was promised in the Brexit referendum and that it fails the party’s six tests. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the agreement “a bad deal which isn’t in the interests of the whole country”.