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May to continue negotiations on UK’s EU exit

20 November 2018

She said the Environment Secretary had been doing "a great job", adding: "I haven't appointed a new Brexit Secretary yet, but obviously I will be doing that over the course of the next day or so".

British Prime Minister Theresa May says if politicians reject her Brexit deal, it will set the country on "a path of deep and grave uncertainty". He said that was a priority ahead of pushing for a so-called people's vote on the final agreement. Mrs May defended last week's draft agreement for leaving the European Union and said there was a "critical" week ahead.

May said "an intense week of negotiations" lay ahead to finalize the framework.

In a letter to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, Mr Rees-Mogg said Mrs May's deal "has turned out to be worse than anticipated and fails to meet the promises given to the nation by the Prime Minister, either on her own account or on behalf of us all in the Conservative Party manifesto".

Speculation is mounting over whether he has received the 48 letters of no confidence required to challenge her leadership of the Conservative Party.

But she still faced the threat of a Tory rebellion from Eurosceptics who are not happy with her exit terms which, they say, do not deliver on Brexit.

"Future prosperity depends on getting the Brexit deal right". "The question now is whether there is an approval of this deal in the United Kingdom and European parliaments".

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party would vote against May's deal when it came to parliament and the government should go back to Brussels for further negotiations.

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One pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker, Simon Clarke, urged wavering colleagues Monday to join the rebellion, saying "it is quite clear to me that the captain is driving the ship at the rocks".

Manfred Weber, who leads the center-right European People's Party in the EU legislature, told reporters in Berlin that its initial assessment of the deal is "very encouraging, very positive".

After a meeting with European Union ministers, Barnier said that "the ministers support the overall package" of 585 pages that make up the agreement and the principle of a one-off extension of the transition period which is supposed to be limited to the end of 2020 at this stage.

But a spokesman for the PM added: "As we've said, clearly it makes sense to have the option of extending the implementation period as an alternative to the backstop, in case the future relationship isn't ready for some reason".

In Brussels, Austria's minister for Europe, Gernot Bluemel, struck a more melancholy tone. "We have the divorce papers on the table; 45 years of hard marriage are coming to an end".

Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Mr Rees-Mogg said he believed the letters needed to trigger a vote of no confidence would be submitted, but declined to say how soon. Asked if Britain's departure could be delayed, he said: "I assume that the withdrawal date stands".

"Control of our money, so we can decide for ourselves how to spend it".

There has been widespread criticism of the 585-page withdrawal agreement - published alongside a shorter document setting out what the United Kingdom and EU's future relationship could look like - which is set be signed off at a summit next week.

May to continue negotiations on UK’s EU exit