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Sturgeon calls May a 'lame duck leader' after confidence vote

Sturgeon calls May a 'lame duck leader' after confidence vote

The backstop is an insurance clause obliging Britain to follow European Union trade regulations until a better way is found to avoid a "hard border" between Britain's Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland.

May responded to a no-confidence vote with a passion she reserves for when her back is against the wall, defending her Brexit deal and warning that ousting her could derail the whole process.

European officials say that the backstop must stay.

The issue is still a contentious subject for many European leaders.

Theresa May came to power in exactly this internal Tory Party way and she failed to win the support of the public when she called a general election.

Alongside a promise not to lead the Conservatives into the next general election, May is believed to have promised her party's MPs that she would secure a "legally binding" change to the controversial Northern Irish backstop which would make it temporary.

May has been on the back foot pretty much the minute she stepped into office, pulled in all different direction by Remainers who wanted the softest type of Brexit possible (if one at all), Leavers agitating for a no-nonsense (and very little compromise) break with Brussels, and the average Brit growing increasingly anxious about the U.K.'s future beyond March 2019, when the country is supposed to leave the European Union. According to reports, May stated she would not seek reelection in 2022 when speaking to those within the Conservative Party.

The key question is whether the Prime Minister will stand up to them or whether she will roll over as has happened previously. He added: "It's a awful result for the prime minister, it really is".

This would not be the legally binding promise, sought by Brexiteers, that the backstop would not be used to indefinitely bind the United Kingdom into a customs union.

France and Ireland led a move to strike out a compromise agreement that would have given the prime minister "political and legal assurances" that Britain would not be trapped in an indefinite Irish backstop.

Brady told the BBC he had spoken to the prime minister and noted she was "keen that matters be resolved as quickly as is reasonably possible".

European Union leaders arriving for the meeting insisted that while they want to be helpful to Mrs May, they are not prepared to reopen negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement.

"A change of leadership in the Conservative Party now would put our country's future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it", she said.

But European sources said the room was tense, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders repeatedly interrupting May to ask her what she wanted and how she could deliver it.

He said there was an "overwhelming majority" in the Commons against a no-deal Brexit but the prime minister should now hold a series of votes to establish what other options MPs were willing to accept.

While he said May had been "fighting hard and bravely", he added "we have not seen results", and expressed doubt that any deal would get through the British Parliament in its current form.

One of Mr Hammond's Cabinet colleagues, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, distanced himself from the comment, telling Today: "I think all of us say sometimes things in interviews which we perhaps could have phrased in a better way".

"But I think it is right that the party feels that it would prefer to go into that election with a new leader".


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