Theresa May found herself fighting to save her draft EU divorce proposal yesterday after a series of resignations from furious ministers who refused to back the Prime Minister and her vision for Brexit.
Dominic Raab resigned as Brexit Secretary over concerns for the “indefinite” backstop agreement to avoid a hard Irish border and Northern Ireland remaining under EU regulations.
Next to announce they were quitting was Esther McVey, who stood down as Work and Pensions Secretary as she could not defend a deal which meant the UK “handing over control to the EU”.
Other minsters to resign throughout the day included Suella Braverman and Shailesh Vara, while Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Ranil Jayawardena and Rehman Chishti left their posts as key figures in Government.
The pound reacted negatively to the news of Brexit being on the line and was still struggling this morning at €1.26, according to data from Bloomberg.
Sterling had opened at around €1.27 after dropping from €1.49 seen early yesterday.
Despite a day of political turbulence, Mrs May stood defiant and told a press conference on Thursday that she believes “with every fibre of my being” the path she “set out is the right one for our country”.
The Prime Minister vowed to fight on with Brexit and insisted she would fight any attempt to force her out after leading Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg called for a vote of no confidence.
It is understood up to a dozen other Tory backbenchers have also sent letters calling for Mrs May to quit over Brexit.
There must be 48 letters to the 1922 Committee to initiate such a vote.
Allies of the Prime Minister stood up for Mrs May as they expressed their discontent at the open disloyalty shown yesterday.
Chief Whip Julian Smith said Mrs May would not abandon the withdrawal agreement in the face of widespread opposition among MPs.
Leaving Downing Street, he told reporters: “The Prime Minister is moving things on in the best interests of the country.
“The Prime Minister will not be bullied and will not change course.”
This morning has seen Mrs May take calls live on LBC this morning as she continues to defend her draft withdrawal agreement.
The Prime Minister said: “We have held out and held our ground and they have given in to us.
“The is not the deal of a future relationship with the European Union.
“The deal of the future relationship with the EU means we take back control of our laws, we end freedom of movement, take back control of our borders, take back control of our money so we can spend it on priorities like the NHS.
“We are out of the customs union, we are out of the single market, we are out of the common agricultural policy, we are out of the common fisheries policy, that is what I think people voted for.”
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