Theresa May rallies business houses to support her draft Brexit deal

May’s deal focusses on a key issue, the immigration system, which was a significant factor in the Brexit referendum.

Facing dissenters from within her own party, British Prime Minister Theresa May has scrambled to win support from business leaders for her contentious draft Brexit plan.

Ever since May unveiled her draft, the last few days have been tumultuous for her with several ministers, including her Brexit minister, sending their resignations and members from her own parliament moving to oust her.

Vowing to continue the fight, May has warned that toppling her risks delaying Britain’s exit from the EU. The EU is set to hold a summit to discuss the draft Brexit deal on November 25.

“We now have an intense week of negotiations ahead of us in the run-up to the special European Council on Sunday,” reads an extract from May’s speech which she delivered to the CBI business lobby group’s annual conference on Monday. Her speech states, Britain will embark on an intense week of “Brexit negotiations to try to thrash out the details of its outline future relationship with the EU”.

“During that time I expect us to hammer out the full and final details of the framework that will underpin our future relationship and I am confident that we can strike a deal at the council that I can take back to the House of Commons,” reads an extract of May’s speech.

Although two years have gone by following the Uk’s historic referendum to leave the EU, it has yet to come to terms as to when and how it will be leaving the bloc on March 29, 2019. Businesses across the UK face an uncertain future if the UK were to leave the EU without a deal in place.

Pro-Brexit lawmakers from within her own Conservative party believe that the draft deal will Britain in indefinite subjugation to the EU and are attempting to trigger a no-confidence vote in the parliament.

However, to trigger such as vote, they need 48 such votes following which the lawmakers must submit a letter to the chairman of the Conservative party’s 1922 committee; on Sunday, Graham Brady said, the rebel lawmakers have yet to garner 48 votes.

As per a report from the Sun newspaper, the rebels are short of six votes.

“This is absolutely the day at which we stand at the bar of history on this,” said Simon Clarke to BBC radio, adding “this day must be the point at which … action is taken”.

The DUP

The very survival of May’s government hinges on the DUP – a small Northern Irish party whose support is critical to the survival of May’s minority government. The DUP has threatened to pull out its support if Northern Ireland is treated differently from the Republic of Ireland.

“If we continue with this plan we are simply not going to have a government because the clear threat it poses to the integrity of the union is something which our colleagues the DUP will simply put up with,” said Clarke. “It is quite clear to me that the captain is driving the ship at the rocks.”

May’s government is also facing volleys from the opposition. As per Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the draft deal is “a botched, worst-of-all-worlds deal which is bad for Britain, leaving the country in an indefinite halfway house without a real say”.

He has made it lucidly clear that his party will not support May’s deal when it sails through parliament. He has said, Labour’s plan for Brexit will include a new comprehensive and permanent customs union, and a “strong single market relationship”.

“The government is trying to force a bad deal that doesn’t meet our country’s needs by threatening us all with the chaos and serious damage to our economy of a no deal outcome,” said Corbyn. “The Prime Minister knows that no deal isn’t a real option. Neither the cabinet nor parliament would endorse such an extreme and dangerous course.”

According to May, the draft deal allows Britain to control immigration – an issue that was a key point in the historic referendum.

“It will no longer be the case that EU nationals, regardless of the skills or experience they have to offer, can jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi,” said May.

She went on to add, “We want an immigration system for the future that everyone can have confidence in. Yes, a system that works for business. One that allows us to attract the brightest and the best from around the world, more streamlined application and entry processes.”

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