New Brexit secretary to focus on UK's readiness for exit

Stephen Barclay

Mrs May had earlier said she believed the 48-letter trigger point had not been reached, despite two cabinet resignations last week and numerous pro-Brexit MPs openly saying they would not accept the European Union agreement.

Barclay has been promoted from a minister of state at the Department of Health, according to The Guardian newspaper.

This could mean that a no-confidence vote in May's leadership could be held within days, with party rules dictating that it must be held "as soon as possible" if 15 per cent of the parliamentary party - meaning 48 MPs - submit letters.

The party's shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett said: "After enforcing Theresa May's hostile environment in the Home Office, Amber Rudd will now be in charge of the DWP's hostile environment for disabled people and the poorest in society".

"I don't know how I would vote - what the options would be at the time", Corbyn said.

"We need a decisive 60/40 vote to realistically conclude the national debate on this critical issue".

After a tumultuous Thursday in which four ministers resigned, MPs slammed her draft agreement and members of her own party plotted to oust her, May received key support from the top Brexiteers left in her government.

The risk of no deal is already causing economic harm as companies of all sizes stockpile goods and components and move jobs and investment out of Britain, it said. "That issue is still going to be there", she said in the interview, published Saturday.

Early in December, the prime minister will put her deal to a "meaningful vote", in parliament.

The appointment came at the end of a week of frenzied political activity in Westminster and wide speculation about Mrs May's future following high profile Cabinet resignations by ministers opposed to her draft divorce plan.

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The Prime Minister's allies insist she can survive a no-confidence vote but it would leave her badly wounded.

Leadsom told Sky News Saturday "there is still more to be done" to get "the best possible deal for the U.K." before the draft withdrawal agreement is signed off on November 25 in Brussels.

The prime minister is facing open calls for her resignation from Brexiter MPs after she released a much-criticised draft agreement to leave the EU. "What I am now hoping, like others, is that he delivers a better deal in what will be a tough but important job". It sets up a blind Brexit with no idea of what lies ahead.

Ireland's foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said on Saturday that British pro-Brexit ministers were "not living in the real world" if they thought they could renegotiate the divorce treaty agreed with the European Union last week.

"Make no mistake - the hard-fought deal that is now in sight will do all of those things", she wrote.

Ms Rudd's return to government comes less than seven months after she faced intense criticism over the UK's treatment of the Windrush generation.

Former British Parliament member John Browne on the future of Brexit.

"This is a withdrawal agreement which took the best part of two years to negotiate involving 28 countries", said Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

In a sign the Tory civil war over Brexit is not slowing down, Middle East Minister Alistair Burt warned rebels the "consensus" that pro-EU MPs should reluctantly respect the 2016 referendum result could break down if she is toppled.

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