Brexit: Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving vote | 2018-12-13

Brexit: Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving vote


13th December, 2018 02:15:11 printer

Brexit: Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving vote


Theresa May is heading to Brussels for an EU summit, the morning after surviving a vote of confidence.


The prime minister is seeking legally binding pledges from EU leaders on the Irish backstop - a key obstacle for MPs who oppose her Brexit deal.


The EU will not renegotiate the deal but may be willing to give greater assurances on the temporary nature of the backstop, the BBC understands.


The PM won the ballot on her leadership by 200 votes to 117 on Wednesday night.


The secret ballot was triggered by 48 of her MPs angry at her Brexit policy, which they say betrays the 2016 referendum result.


Speaking in Downing Street after the vote, Mrs May vowed to deliver the Brexit "people voted for" but said she had listened to the concerns of MPs who voted against her.


But Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said, despite the "high drama" of Wednesday, "nothing has really changed".


Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said it was now up to Mrs May to listen to her party and "push the EU... to resolve the backstop".


What will happen at the EU summit?

Earlier this week, the prime minister travelled to meet EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, to raise the issues surrounding the withdrawal agreement at Westminster one-on-one.


But a trip to meet the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had to be cancelled because of the leadership vote.


At Thursday's summit, Mrs May will have an opportunity to spell out face to face the problems to all leaders of the 27 member states.


The EU leaders will then consider what could be done - without Mrs May in the room.


Theresa May will front up in Brussels later - still the Prime Minister, still officially in charge.