Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab 'preparing to fight for PM's job'

Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab 'preparing to fight for PM's job'

British Prime Minister Theresa May won support for her beleaguered Brexit deal Friday from key politicians and business groups, but she remained besieged by internal party opponents determined to oust her.

May said negotiating teams are working "as we speak" and she intends to go to Brussels and meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

More than 20 MPs have publicly admitted to submitting letters of no confidence in May this week, while reports have suggested a further 15 have been submitted in private, with a total of 48 letters required to trigger the vote.

Gove said Friday that he "absolutely" had confidence in May, adding that he would work with government colleagues to achieve "the best future for Britain".

In a sign the Tory civil war over Brexit is not calming, Middle East minister Alistair Burt warned rebels the "consensus" that pro-EU MPs should reluctantly respect the 2016 referendum result could break down if she is toppled.

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Stephen Barclay, a little-known junior health minister, was appointed as the new Brexit secretary, although the status of the role was downgraded from chief negotiator with May leading the completion of talks with the EU.

This weekend is a crucial one for Theresa May as she bids to sell her draft Brexit deal to her fellow Conservative Party members and the public.

When asked how the calls for her removal had affected her, Mrs May replied: "It doesn't distract me".

She is a longstanding ally of May's and has said she supports the proposed divorce agreement with the EU.

But when quizzed on the PM's future in her party, he said that he still supported her and said he would not support a leadership challenge against her.

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Mrs May reiterated that the much-discussed backstop plan contained within the deal did not mean the United Kingdom could be locked into an arrangement that was not in Britain's interest.

Mordaunt, Raab, and five other top Conservatives - former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Raab's predecessor David Davis, Interior Minister Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and Work and Pensions Minister Amber Rudd - are all "actively preparing" leadership campaigns, the Sunday Times said. "Protect the integrity of the United Kingdom and peaceful settlement in Northern Ireland by leaving the European Union as one United Kingdom and having no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland", May said at a press conference.

Brexiteers made the assertion just hours after Michael Gove threw the Prime Minister a lifeline by pulling back from quitting Cabinet.

At the center of concerns over the deal is the so-called Northern Irish backstop, an insurance policy to avoid a return to border checks between the British province and EU-member Ireland. If an agreed deal on leaving between the government and the European Union is voted down by purist Brexiteers, do not be surprised if consensus on accepting the result of the referendum by remain voting MPs breaks down. "Their deal risks leaving the country in an indefinite half-way house without a real say".

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