Teresa May fights to avoid another defeat on Brexit strategy
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May was scrambling Thursday to avoid another defeat on her Brexit plans amid opposition from members of her own party who claim she is moving in the wrong direction in efforts to overcome the impasse blocking a deal.
Hard-line pro-Brexit lawmakers in May’s Conservative Party said a motion to be voted on in Parliament later effectively rules out the threat of Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement on departure terms and future relations, a move they say undermines Britain’s bargaining position.
“Conservative MPs (members of Parliament) really ought not to be associated with anything, express or implied, which seems to take ‘no deal’ off the table,” said Brexit-backing Conservative lawmaker Steve Baker in a tweet.
Baker and other Brexiteers are threatening to rebel against the government, or abstain, in a vote intended to buy the government more time to seek changes from the EU to a Brexit divorce agreement.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a prominent Brexit supporter in Cabinet, warned that a government defeat, though not legally binding, would send the wrong signal to EU leaders.
“They will be looking to see whether Parliament is showing consistency,” he said.