The Brexit story: How Britain got itself in a bind


"We do not agree on all those choices, but I respect their views".

It was not immediately clear whether any ministers would resign over the deal, which May hopes will satisfy both Brexit voters and European Union supporters by ensuring close ties with the bloc after Britain leaves on March 29.

With her party in revolt, her colleagues departing - some determined to usher her out of office - we can't, and don't know yet, if Brexit can happen as planned, perhaps, if at all. "We are also prepared for a no deal scenario - but of course we are best prepared for a no-Brexit scenario".

"Theresa May has no authority left and is clearly incapable of delivering a Brexit deal that commands even the support of her cabinet - let alone parliament and the people of our country".

In December MPs in the British House of Commons will debate and vote on the agreement.

Westminster is braced for further resignations, amid widespread expectations that the Prime Minister may face a challenge to her position from Conservative MPs submitting letters of no confidence in her leadership.

Raab, whose resignation was the most significant, said: "I can not reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election".

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris, who resigned as foreign secretary over Brexit in July, set the ball rolling last week after he resigned as transport minister over what he called Theresa May's "delusional" Brexit plans.

In a bid to solidify her power and the stated goal of ensuring a "strong and stable" government would be seated at the Brexit negotiations, May called a general election for June 2017. Thursday's mayhem pro- mpted a big fall in the pou- nd's value as investors fretted that United Kingdom could crash out of the European Union in March without a deal.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey were the two most high-profile resignations that came a day after May presented her deal to Cabinet on Wednesday.

Amid the political turmoil, the pound dropped by 2.0 percent against the dollar to a one-month low and a similar amount against the euro.

But the choice was this deal, which enables us to take back control and to build a brighter future for our country, or going back to square one with more division, more uncertainty and a failure to deliver on the referendum.

May gave no date for a vote in parliament but she will need the votes of about 320 of the 650 lawmakers.

The developments threaten to derail the prime minister's Brexit strategy ahead of a crucial EU summit, which European Council President Donald Tusk confirmed would take place on November 25, "if nothing extraordinary happens".

"I understand fully that there are some who are unhappy with those compromises but this deal delivers what people voted for and it is in the national interest", she said.

He added the United Kingdom should be ready to risk a no-deal Brexit in the face of European Union "blackmail".

Her Conservative government doesn't have enough lawmakers of its own to get a majority, and relies on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, which says it will not back the deal.

Opposition parties also signalled they would vote against the agreement. "And the alternative of repudiating that backstop would not only mean reneging on a promise to the people of Northern Ireland but it would also collapse the negotiations and end hopes of securing a deal".

The Brexit negotiations are "a matter of the highest effect", she said, touching "almost every area of our national life".

"What I can tell you is there's no orchestrated attempt to put letters in", Burns said. "Stop the clock and go back to Brussels".

Following an early Thursday meeting, Tusk heaped praise on the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, who had "achieved the two most important objectives" - limiting the damage caused by Britain's impending departure and maintaining the interests of the other 27 countries that will remain in the bloc after Brexit.