Theresa May limps to Brussels to plead for ‘improved’ Brexit deal after crippling vote

WOUNDED Theresa May limps on today as she jets to Brussels to try and fix Brexit – while rebels plot to kick her out.

The PM won a confidence vote last night but was embarrassed by seeing 117 of her own MPs call for her to go.

Theresa May is flying to Brussels today to beg for changes to her Brexit deal
AP:Associated Press

Today Brexiteers kept up the pressure on Mrs May – insisting the narrow margin of her victory isn’t enough to carry on.

She is attending a summit of EU leaders this afternoon where she will beg them for a better Brexit deal.

The PM admitted yesterday she needs to junk the hated “Irish backstop” or she’ll never get her withdrawal deal through the Commons.

But European leaders have insisted all week that there’s no chance of changing the legally binding parts of the treaty.

Rebels such as Jacob Rees-Mogg are still trying to kick the PM out
PA:Press Association

Several of the rebel ringleaders claimed Mrs May was fatally damaged by last night’s vote.

Steve Baker compared her to Margaret Thatcher, who resigned a week after winning a narrow majority of her MPs.

Peter Bone blasted today: “The result was very damaging to the Prime Minister.”

One Brexiteer even claimed they’d rather see a snap election than let Mrs May carry on, telling The Times: “I’d much rather face the voters on this than just go along with it.”

Other Brexit-backing MPs stopped short of calling for her to quit but warned she must completely overhaul the withdrawal agreement.

The PM isn’t safe despite her no-confidence victory
©2018 Jamie Lorriman

Ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “They have to say to the EU your £39billion is fully at risk.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan added: “The Prime Minister now needs to ramp up government’s preparedness for there being no signed treaty by March 29 so that businesses are ready.

“Then we have a decent negotiating position to get a deal which commands support of the House and actually is Brexit.”

Pro-EU figures used the chaos to demand a second referendum.

Anti-Brexit Tory Sarah Wollaston said: “The inescapable fact is that the Commons has reached deadlock and the PM will eventually have to take her deal to the people to ask for their consent.”

The PM’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell and husband Philip watching her statement last night
AFP

Labour’s Stephen Doughty added: “This is a bad Brexit deal, and no one should believe any ‘reassurances’ that she returns with – as they are not worth the paper written on.”

Nick Timothy, Mrs May’s former chief of staff, concluded that the result would lead to either a “Norway-style” soft Brexit deal or a second referendum.

The PM’s narrow win came after she promised not to lead the Tories into the next General Election, due for 2022.

But she failed to unite her party behind her, with warring factions openly taking potshots at each other.

And Mrs May’s pledge to quit is set to ignite the contest to replace her as possible future leaders jostle for position.


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