May fights for survival, urges unity amid Brexit turbulence

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London, Nov 16 (IANS) UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday appealed to her Cabinet to stick together as she battled to cling onto her job, a day after a wave of resignations thrust her terms for a departure from the EU into jeopardy.

As No 10 geared up for a potential vote of no confidence, government whips were recalled to Westminster from their constituencies, the Independent reported.

“I want all of my colleagues in the Cabinet to continue to do the excellent job they’ve been doing,” May said when asked during a radio phone-in if she expected further resignations.

She insisted she would carry on as Prime Minister and defended the Brexit deal that infuriated many of her MPs. The leader was speaking minutes after former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale became the latest to announce he had submitted a letter of no-trust in her.

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On the other hand, Environment Secretary Michael Gove hotly tipped to take on the freshly vacated role of Brexit Secretary or abandon the Cabinet said he would remain in his post as he offered his backing for May, who was facing backlash over the provisional deal she struck on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

May said she would name in a day or two a successor to Dominic Raab who quit as Brexit Secretary on Thursday, according to Efe news.

The coming days will be critical for both May’s Brexit deal and her premiership as she seeks to quell a rebellion that has been brewing for months within her own party over the UK’s future ties to the EU.

Members of her Conservative Party were openly plotting on Thursday to try to trigger the no-confidence vote in an effort to force her to negotiate a different deal with Brussels.

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The pact has drawn fierce disapproval from key Conservative figures as well as the main opposition Labour Party who said May has conceded too much.

May relies on Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party for a majority in the UK’s 650-seat Parliament.

That alliance looked increasingly shaky on Thursday, as members of the party criticized the deal. May said she was “still working” with the party and had a number of exchanges with its leadership.

While insisting that her deal was the best option for the UK, May also sought to reassure voters that medical supplies would be maintained in the event that the UK leaves the bloc in March without an agreement.

May, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, said she was personally sensitive to worries about the continuity of supply since her insulin was manufactured by a company in Denmark.

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“The Department of Health is working carefully with companies that supply the medicines,” she said. “I know this is an issue that is a matter of importance for people.”

–IANS

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