Brexits cause Mayhem over draft leave deal

Updated: Nov 17, 2018, 09:19 IST | Agencies

UK PM's Brexit secretary and three others quit over 'half-baked' divorce deal with European Union; Member of Parliament submits letter of no confidence against May

Pro-European Union (EU) hold placards and wave Union and EU flags as they protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London. Pics/AFP
Pro-European Union (EU) hold placards and wave Union and EU flags as they protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London. Pics/AFP

Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday faced a possible "coup" after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Indian-origin minister Shailesh Vara and two other ministers resigned from her divided Cabinet over UK's "half-baked" divorce deal with the European Union.

Minutes after Vara stepped down as Northern Ireland minister, Prime Minister May was hit by a bigger blow as her Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned from the Cabinet saying he "cannot in good conscience" support the draft of the withdrawal agreement with the 28-member bloc.

Dominic Raab
Dominic Raab

Raab's resignation was followed by another pro-Brexit minister, work and pensions secretary Esther McVey, announcing that she is resigning from the Cabinet over the issue. Another junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman quit over Brexit, shortly after her former boss Raab quit office.

Amidst the spate of resignations, prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg directly challenged May in the House of Commons. He later submitted a letter of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party.

Theresa May
Theresa May

May's opponents need 48 letters from Tory MPs to trigger the confidence vote. However, Brexiter Tory MPs are nowhere near the numbers they need (158) to defeat May in a confidence vote. Another Conservative MP, Henry Smith has also submitted his letter, requesting a vote of no confidence in May. The resignations are being seen as a sign of bigger troubles ahead for May.

Pound falls sharply
The pound fell sharply Thursday following the resignation of Britain's Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab dropping more than one per cent against both the dollar and the euro. The plunge erased gains made earlier in the week after a draft Brexit deal emerged between Britain and the EU. Around 0925 GMT, the pound was worth around USD 1.2831, compared with almost USD 1.30 late Tuesday.

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