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UK Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a dilemma over what to do next with her Brexit Deal after EU leaders refused to budge this week, saying there would be no renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement.
The Prime Minister delayed her Brexit vote on Monday that was due to take place on Tuesday and went back to Brussels hoping to secure some changes to her Brexit deal. However, EU leaders have made it clear again this week that this deal is the only deal the UK will be getting, and that there will be no renegotiating. Mrs May was hoping to secure some concessions on the issue of the Irish backstop, though came back from meetings with EU leaders with no such concessions. The issue of the Irish backstop has caused opposition to Mrs May’s deal from almost all parties, including her own, making it unlikely that her deal could pass through Parliament.
Reports on Saturday suggested that many members of the PM’s Cabinet consider the Brexit deal to be ‘dead’. According to The Times, five cabinet ministers including Chancellor Philip Hammond are “leaning reluctantly” towards supporting a second referendum. It has been reported that Jeremy Hunt and Liz Truss are willing to leave the EU without a deal, while another group of ministers including Michael Gove are reported to support a soft Brexit that may constitute the Norway model of relations with the EU.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd wrote in the Daily Mail that leaving the EU without a deal is something “almost everybody agrees mustn’t happen”. In the Daily Mail, the former Home Secretary said that MPs of different parties need to “forge a consensus” and work together.
MPs are unlikely to vote on the Brexit deal before mid-January 2019. Earlier this week, the Labour Party announced it would launch a motion of no confidence in the Government, but only when it believed it would be successful in doing so. The party could launch such a motion before the vote on the Brexit deal if Theresa May fails to secure further concessions from the EU.
Theresa May may have survived a vote of no confidence in her leadership this week, but it appears it will be only a matter of time before her premiership becomes under great threat again.