Theresa May said after a five-hour cabinet meeting yesterday that she believed her draft deal to withdraw from the EU was the best that could be negotiated
Francis Elliott, Political Editor | Sam Coates | Oliver Wright | Bruno Waterfield, Brussels
November 14 2018, 8:30pm
Theresa May confronted her mutinous party with the threat of “no Brexit at all” after she forced her draft deal with the EU through a divided cabinet.
Esther McVey, the welfare secretary, was believed to be on the verge of quitting last night after clashes at the end of a marathon five-hour meeting. She was shouted down by the chief whip and cabinet secretary after she demanded a vote by ministers on the deal.
Although Ms McVey was one of nine senior ministers to criticise the deal, Mrs May emerged claiming to have secured cabinet backing for a “decisive step” towards finalising Brexit at a special summit on November 25.
The prime minister admitted, however, that she faced “difficult days ahead” as Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the Brexiteer Tory backbenchers, rejected the draft agreement, saying that it would make Britain “a permanent rule-taker” and warned that it could trigger a vote of no confidence.
Mrs May will face a hostile reception from Tory Brexiteers when she makes a Commons statement today as they decide whether to trigger a leadership contest. If she wins, she cannot be challenged as leader for another year.