BREXIT LIVE: May in 'last-minute call' to MPs as Tories RIP themselves apart in EGO WARS
After a weekend of vicious attacks from within her own ranks, the prime minister rallied her troops in one-and-a-half hour conference call on Sunday night.
Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, is thought to have told Mrs May she was “devastated” by her plans to extend the Brexit transition period in a bid to strike a deal with the EU.
While Home Secretary Sajid Javid directly asked the prime minister whether she had “explicitly threatened the EU with no deal”.
More than a dozen ministers were involved in the last minute call last night, some of whom were given less than 15 minutes notice before, according to the Daily Telegraph.
While Theresa May contacted a smaller group of ministers on Saturday, who claim they were still left unconvinced by the prime minister’s plans.
It comes at the start of another difficult week for Mrs May who will today issue a rallying call to her MPs to get behind her as she insists the Brexit deal is 95 percent complete.
In a Commons statement after talks with EU leaders in Brussels, she is to say the “shape of the deal across the vast majority” of the withdrawal agreement is now clear.
She will tell MPs that since last month’s fractious summit in Salzburg, “important progress” has been made on issues like security, transport and services.
Protocols have been developed on how Brexit will impact Gibraltar and the UK’s military base in Cyprus.
She will say: “And all of this from the last three weeks alone, is in addition to the agreements we had already reached.”
Mrs May will tell the Commons that “taking all of this together, 95 percent of the withdrawal agreement and its protocols are now settled”.
But she will add: “As I set out last week, the original backstop proposal from the EU was one we could not accept, as it would mean creating a customs border down the Irish Sea and breaking up the integrity of the UK.
“I do not believe that any UK prime minister could ever accept this. And I certainly will not.”
Furious backbenchers warned the Prime Minister she is “drinking in the last chance saloon” after tensions flared over her negotiating strategy following a Brussels summit.
Follow Express.co.uk for live updates below
The EU is planning to scrap the annual hour change in April 2019, a month after Brexit, according to a committee in the House of Lords.
8.33am update: Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the exit agreement must be finalised by the end of next month
Mr Raab said it would allow new laws to be put in place in time for exit day.
He suggested a transition extension could run for three months, but said the move would have to “solve” the Irish backstop issue.
Labour has warned Mrs May that it will not back her Brexit blueprint when it reaches the Commons.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said there is a “real lack of confidence” that Mrs May can bring back “anything by way of a good deal”.
8.21am update: Senior Brexiteer Theresa Villiers has attacked claims Theresa May is entering the “killing zone”.
But Brexit minister Suella Braverman said her colleagues were “free to express themselves in the way they wish” and repeatedly refused to say she would back Mrs May in a confidence vote.
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