More can be done on PM’s Brexit deal, says Andrea Leadsom
The Commons leader’s comments came after reports a group of ministers want late changes to be made to the withdrawal agreement made with Brussels
Andrea Leadsom has said there is still time for “more to be done” on the Brexit deal as the Conservative Party continues to row over Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement with Brussels.
The Brexiteer Commons leader said she supports the Prime Minister but suggested there is an opportunity before a special European Council meeting on November 25 to get “the best possible deal for the UK”.
Her comments came after Brexiteers vying to oust Mrs May were warned their efforts could drive Remain-voting Tories to attempt to stop Brexit entirely.
Be very clear. If an agreed deal on leaving between the Govt and the EU 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. Parliament will not support no deal. https://t.co/dx5CBigNDs— Alistair Burt (@AlistairBurtUK) November 17, 2018
In a sign the Tory civil war over Brexit is not slowing down, 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.
Mrs Leadsom has been reportedly been leading a group of Brexiteer Cabinet ministers who want to tweak the deal Mrs May agreed with the EU after two years of talks to make it more acceptable to them.
Confronted in her constituency by Sky News, Mrs Leadsom said she was “absolutely determined to support the PM in getting the best possible deal for the UK as we leave the EU”.
She added: “There is still more to be done and we do still have more time before the EU Council at the end of the month so I’m absolutely committed to getting the Brexit that 17.4 million people voted for.”
Some politicians get so embroiled in the intricacies of their argument they forget it is not about this theory or that theory, or does it make me look good Prime Minister Theresa May
At the end of a bruising week for the Prime Minister, she used an interview with the Daily Mail to tell her critics their alternative plans for Brexit would not solve the main problem – the North Ireland/Ireland border backstop arrangement.
She told the newspaper: “People say ‘if you could only just do something slightly different, have a Norway model or a Canada model, this backstop issue would go away’. It would not. That issue is still going to be there.
“Some politicians get so embroiled in the intricacies of their argument they forget it is not about this theory or that theory, or does it make me look good.”
It came after a tumultuous week including the departure of Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, plus the launch of a high-profile insurrection on the back benches to remove her from office.
She responded by bringing former home secretary Amber Rudd, who quit over the Windrush scandal, back into Cabinet to replace Ms McVey at the DWP.
Mrs May will continue her attempts to sell the deal to sceptical MPs and the public with a live interview on Sky’s Ridge on Sunday.
But there seems little sign of the sides coming together.
Mr Burt, whose role spans the Foreign Office and Department for International Development, attacked a tweet by Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the European Research Group, in which the latter promoted a lawyer’s legal case against the agreement reached with Brussels.
Mr Burt wrote: “Be very clear. If an agreed deal on leaving between the Govt and the EU 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.
“Parliament will not support no deal.”