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Theresa May: A Conservative leadership contest threatens Brexit

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Theresa May no confidence
Theresa
May.

Sky News / Ridge on
Sunday


  • Theresa May says there are not yet enough no-confidence
    letters to trigger a leadership contest against her.
  • The Conservative Prime Minster appeared on the Sky News
    programme “Ridge on Sunday” to discuss her Brexit deal, and the
    pro-Brexit MPs from her own party who have rebelled against her.
  • But May had a message for the rebels, and that message is
    this: A change of leadership could threaten Brexit itself.

Theresa May believes a new Conservative leadership contest could
threaten Brexit.

The embattled British prime minister has faced the biggest test
of her premiership after ministers including the Brexit
Secretary Dominic Raab and the Work and Pensions Secretary Esther
McVey resigned
to protest her Brexit plans.

May negotiated a deal with the European Union and made the draft
agreement public earlier this week. But some pro-Brexit
Conservative MPs rallied against it because the UK will be in a
customs union with the EU for years after Brexit, unable to sign
meaningful trade deals with other countries, without the
unilateral right to leave.

Prominent Conservatives like Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nadine Dorries, and Zac
Goldsmith
 handed in letters of no-confidence in May. If
48 (15% of) Conservative MPs write such letters to the chair of
the 1922 Committee, it means the party has lost faith in May’s
leadership and a new leadership contest must be triggered.

But May told the Sky News programme “Ridge on
Sunday”
that there are not currently enough letters to
threaten her premiership, and even warned rebels that a new
contest risks the entire Brexit process.

“As far as I know, no,” May told Sophy Ridge when asked if the 48
letter limit had been reached. “The answer to your question is
no. It has not.”

May added: “A change of leadership at this point is not to make
negotiations any easier and it’s not going to change the
parliamentary arithmetic. What it will do is bring in a degree of
uncertainty, for people and jobs, and it is a risk that we delay
negotiations, and that is a risk that Brexit gets delayed or
frustrated.”

Follow live updates and analysis here: https://t.co/sNm2BeCNmS pic.twitter.com/SElPvqX8Sn

As for a potential leadership challenge, the BBC reports that there are currently 24
Conservative MPs who have publicly handed in letters. But
it is believed there could be some
others who have done so in private
.

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