Theresa May vows to fight for Brexit plan in face of turmoil

Sammy Wilson is well known for his robust and outspoken approach

Sammy Wilson is well known for his robust and outspoken approach

"I believe this is a deal which does deliver that, which is in the national interest and am I going to see this through".

Britain's long-simmering divisions over its future in the European Union erupted into turmoil just a day after the government agreed to a divorce deal with the bloc. "I can not in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU", Dominic Raab said on Thursday morning indicating that there is an ongoing dispute within the UK Cabinet about the Brexit deal.

Speaking to reporters outside 10 Downing Street following a five-hour-long Cabinet meeting, May said the collective agreement of her Cabinet was to agree to the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline future framework.

Influential Brexit-supporting Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was reported to be preparing a letter expressing no confidence in May. He asked rhetorically in Parliament, "should I not write" to Graham Brady, who heads a committee governing Conservative leadership contests.

If enough Conservative lawmakers make similar calls, there could be a vote for a new party leader, which would force May out of her position as prime minister.

Before her address to Parliament, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned in protest over the document, saying he could not in good conscience support the terms.

"This is not the deal the country was promised".

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Raab only took over as Brexit Secretary in July, replacing the original holder of the job, David Davis who quit because he, like Raab, could not reconcile with May's European Union withdrawal proposals.

Esther McVey, the secretary for work and pensions, said the draft deal "does not honour the result of the referendum" in her own resignation letter.

Amid the political turmoil, the pound dropped by 2.0 percent against the dollar to a one-month low and a similar amount against the euro.

The ultimate outcome for the United Kingdom remains uncertain: scenarios range from a calm divorce to rejection of May's deal, potentially sinking her premiership and leaving the bloc with no agreement, or another referendum.

The almost 600-page draft deal covers the nature of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union as well as the framework for Britain's future relationship with the EU.

European Union chief Donald Tusk has called for a summit of leaders to take place on November 25 so they can endorse a draft Brexit deal that has been reached with the British government.

"'No deal' is not pretty", Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4.

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And then there is also the remote possibility that Britain holds a second referendum on Brexit, in which case it might have to go through all this all over again.

The agreement envisages continued links with the European Union after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019, infuriating hardliners in May's Conservative Party, and uniting supporters and opponents of Brexit.

One former Cabinet minister was even told on Thursday by a ministerial aide that the so-called "backstop" element of the deal, a complex means of avoiding hard border between the province and Ireland, could be refined to meet worries of the DUP and Tory MPs.

The leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, Ian Blackford, said May "looks desperate and defeated" and is "trying to sell a deal that is dead in the water". The resignations suggest that it is deeply split, which bodes poorly for the deal's chances in Parliament.

"But there's a lot of work that needs to happen to ensure that we have that unhindered supply of medicine".

Following an early Thursday meeting, Tusk heaped praise on the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, who had "achieved the two most important objectives" - limiting the damage caused by Britain's impending departure and maintaining the interests of the other 27 countries that will remain in the bloc after Brexit.

The deal requires the consent of the European Parliament, whose chief Brexit official, Guy Verhofstadt, welcomed it as "the best agreement we could obtain".

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