Raab Resigns as Britain's Brexit Minister

Marco Green
November 16, 2018

If no agreement between the British government and the European Union is reached as of March 29, the United Kingdom will simply cease to be in the bloc.

"The collective decision of cabinet was that the government should agree the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration", May said outside her Downing Street office.

Just after 9pm Brussels time on Wednesday night, the EU's chief negotiation said with satisfaction: "White is the new green".

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said late Wednesday that she had had a telephone conversation with May in which the PM had promised that Scotland's "distinctive' interests had been protected", but contested that interpretation.

This is a deal that delivers on the priorities of the British people, stated Theresa May.

European Union and British negotiators aim to agree before November 25 on the maximum length allowed for extending the post-Brexit transition period under Britain's withdrawal deal, an EU official said on Thursday. "I have the feeling that we have taken a very decisive, and fundamental step today towards an orderly withdrawal", he said.

Guy Verhofstadt, the chair of the European Parliament's Brexit steering group, said the agreement would "make it possible to maintain a close relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom". "And there's been much criticism in that time of the government's approach", May said. "Or leave with no deal - or no Brexit at all".

"We need to prepare ourselves for a no-deal Brexit", he said. Brandon Lewis, Chairman of the Conservatives & Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, said in a tweet that May's deal is "absolutely the right deal for Britain".

"Now, we are making progress and close to a deal he's complaining about that", replied May.

"What that clearly shows is that he and the Labour party have only one intention that is to frustrate Brexit".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "very happy" that the European Union and Britain had reached a draft agreement but French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned the prospect of Britain crashing out without a deal was "still on the table". "MPs from across my party will look at that deal and recognise the importance of delivering on the vote of British people".

Now, the future of a deal that's taken more than a year to negotiate and the fate of the Conservative government itself is in doubt.

The transitional deal has been criticized by those on both sides of the debate in Britain, but if it is approved, it will be the only legal agreement between Britain and the European Union until another one is negotiated after March. "We can choose to leave with no deal".

After Britain witnessed a string of resignations over the draft withdrawal deal (Brexit), British Prime Minister Teresa May addressed the media reiterating that the deal touches every aspect of British life.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood has more.

May's statement outside Downing Street came just in time for Barnier to declare "decisive progress" and set in train a series of events that will end with a summit of European Union leaders on 25 November.

In Boston, the town in England with the highest Brexit vote in Britain, residents agreed. To avoid the need for checks, May has agreed that the United Kingdom will remain aligned with the European Union via a customs arrangement that contains a mechanism for an extension should the United Kingdom and the EU fail to agree a permanent solution before negotiating time runs out.

The solution is meant to be temporary, but pro-Brexit politicians in Britain fear it may become permanent, hampering Britain's ability to strike new trade deals around the world.

We don't know who the person in charge of the process will be - the Brexit secretary.

The backstop arrangement to come into force if a future trade deal does not prevent the return of a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland has always been the main obstacle not only to a deal with the bloc, but to any agreement of her top ministers. "I can not support the proposed deal".

"That is not something we can support", he told the BBC.

May also faces growing opposition from pro-EU lawmakers, who say her proposed Brexit deal is worse than the status quo and the British public should get a new vote on whether to leave or to stay.

Born in Uganda, Vara, 58, is a former vice-chairman of May's centre-right governing Conservative Party who has been a member of parliament since 2005.

"I think she was fed to the lions a bit", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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