British PM heading for Brussels for talks on future ties

British Prime Minister Theresa May has held a conference call with scores of Conservative constituency leaders in a bid to persuade them to support her, now that the revolt against the Brexit draft deal seems to be coming to a standstill.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said any changes to the draft were unlikely.

THERESA May's precarious leadership is in the hands of her fractious MPs after she struggled through a brutal week over her European Union withdrawal plan.

The Environment Secretary, who stepped back from the brink of resignation yesterday (Friday), will meet Andrea Leadsom, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox over the next two days to agree the terms of their ultimatum.

May insisted she hasn't considered quitting as furious Conservative rebels try to gather the numbers to trigger a no-confidence vote.

But the deal led to a backlash from some Brexit-supporting MPs, including Mr Raab and Ms McVey.

May is determined to fight on, warning abandoning her Brexit plan, with Britain's withdrawal just over four months away on March 29, would plunge the country into "deep and grave uncertainty".

Barclay campaigned in favor of Brexit ahead of the 2016 referendum.

Michael Gove, the environmental secretary, turned down the job after being told he could not renegotiate May's draft agreement. "For a lot of people who voted "leave", what they wanted to do was make sure that decisions on things like who can come into this country would be taken by us here in the United Kingdom, and not by Brussels, and that's exactly what the deal I've negotiated delivers", she said.

Under Conservative rules, a confidence vote in the leader is triggered if 15 percent of Conservative lawmakers-currently 48-write a letter to the party's 1922 Committee of backbenchers, which oversees leadership votes.

Former Brexit minister Steve Baker, a leading member of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tories, said: "People have been ringing me and they are telling me that they are putting letters in". Speaking on LBC Radio, she said that the divorce deal with the European Union would be finalised on November 25 and then would be submitted to parliament for approval.

"The proposition would be: 'So far we've failed, can we have a vote of confidence please?'"

Mrs May's de facto deputy, David Lidington, praised her resilience in carrying out the "absolutely back-breaking job" of delivering a Brexit deal and urged her critics to rally behind her in the "national interest".

But the Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames said: "I am truly dismayed at the dismal behaviour of some of my Colleagues parading their letters to Graham Brady on TV in a vulgar and pathetic display of inferior virtue signalling".

Politicians, officials and diplomats in London openly questioned how long May had left as speculation swirled that a leadership challenge could come soon.

Foreign Office Minister Mark Field appealed for MPs to stop "squabbling" and get behind Mrs May's Brexit deal.

Much of the reason he said he wouldn't support Theresa May's deal was because it was "vague" and did not say enough about workers rights and environmental protections.

  • Rogelio Becker