Theresa May tells MPs just 5% of Brexit deal to go as critics close in

Posted On: 
22nd October 2018

Theresa May will today tell warring MPs that 95% of the Brexit deal is done as she battles to cling on to her job amid calls for her to be toppled.

Theresa May will face the Commons this afternoon
Credit: 
PA Images

The Prime Minister will tell the Commons “the shape of the deal across the vast majority of the withdrawal agreement is now clear” as she bids for more time to get it done.

Mrs May faced a barrage of sinister briefings from Tory MPs angry about her Brexit plans over the weekend, with one saying she was in the “killing zone” and another urging her to “bring her own noose” to a meeting.

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But the PM penned an appeal to Brits today assuring them: “None of this is about me. It’s all about you.”

In a piece for the Sun newspaper, she said: “When I’m confronted with tough choices during the Brexit negotiations, I don’t think about what the implications are for me…

“Because the Brexit talks are not about me or my personal fortunes. They’re about the national interest – and that means making the right choices, not the easy ones.”

Mrs May is likely to face a hostile reception from MPs today after she came back from last week's European Council summit empty handed, despite it once being thought of as a deadline to clinch a Brexit deal.

Tory backbenchers were further angered by the admission by the Government that the Brexit transition period - designed to smooth the withdrawal process - could stretch beyond December 2020.

But she will tell the Commons that deals with Spain over Gibraltar and Cyprus over a military base have been done on top of a host of other issues that have already been ironed out.  

“All of this, from the last three weeks alone, is in addition to the agreements we had already reached,” she will say.

“This includes agreements on citizens’ rights, on the financial settlement, on the implementation period. And in Northern Ireland, agreements on the preservation of the particular rights for UK and Irish citizens.

“Taking all of this together, 95% of the withdrawal agreement and its protocols are now settled.”

CONFERENCE CALL

Mrs May braved a tough 90-minute conference call with her Cabinet yesterday in a bid to secure their support for her Brexit plans, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Top figures including Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey and Home Secretary Sajid Javid challenged her over plans to extend the transition period and over the details of the Northern Ireland border proposals.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has sought last-minute legal advice to work out whether she can face down a bid from pro-Brexit Tory MPs to scupper her strategy for keeping the Northern Ireland border open, the Times reports.

The European Research Group has tabled amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill - due for debate in the Commons this week - to ensure Stormont has a say over any constitutional change under Brexit.