Four UK ministers on verge of quitting over Brexit

PA Wire  PA Images

PA Wire PA Images

European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned ministers from member states that no deal has been sealed yet on Britain's departure from the bloc.

An extra cabinet meeting had been pencilled in this week but that's looking highly unlikely.

And another Brexiteer former cabinet minister, John Whittingdale, said it was hard to see how Mrs May's premiership could continue if MPs rejected any Brexit deal she brought back to Parliament.

Former culture secretary John Whittingdale, a Brexiteer, said Mrs May would have to quit if MPs reject any Brexit deal she brought back to the Commons.

Hope of getting the Cabinet to sign off on Brexit proposals on Tuesday appeared to be rapidly receding, as it was reported the European Union had rejected London's plans for an independent arbitration clause that could allow the United Kingdom to quit a backstop deal on the Northern Ireland border. Aid Secretary Penny Mordaunt (pictured bottom inset) said the Cabinet would act as a "check" on what deal the PM does with Brussels.

"Cabinet's job is to put something to Parliament that is going to deliver on the referendum result".

Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom said: "I urge colleagues to support the prime minister".

Officials from both sides were engaged in talks in Brussels which began on Sunday and lasted until 2.45am on Monday but failed to produce a decisive breakthrough.

"We have made good progress in the negotiations in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement but there are substantial issues still to overcome in relation to the Northern Irish "backstop", that remains the case", May's spokesman said. There are a number of important issues we still have to get bottomed out.

Mr Barnier told ministers from the 27 remaining European Union nations at a meeting of the general affairs council that key issues remained unresolved. The EU released a short statement saying "intense negotiating efforts continue, but an agreement has not been reached yet".

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But ministers emerging from the meeting did little to encourage expectations of an early resolution.

"We have time but not so much", Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told reporters.

"We don't see any positive outcome from Brexit", Sinn Fein vice-president Michelle O'Neill said during a news conference in London on Monday.

When asked by Matt Frei as to why the transport minister had waited until now to resign, Stanley said that "we are only now coming down the wire to the crunch".

French Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau said she was "open" to such an arrangement but wanted to see the details. "It is a question of a British political decision".

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and Chancellor Philip Hammond were among Remain-supporting ministers who raised concerns about the Chequers plan, the BBC reported.

"But under these proposals we are agreeing that the EU would have a say on whether this country is capable of making that final exit from the EU's essential institution, the customs union".

It came days after British minister Jo Johnson, Boris' brother, quit the United Kingdom government, calling for the public to have fresh say on Brexit.

The EU and Ireland are insisting on what is known as a "backstop", or guarantee that no matter what Brexit deal is struck Northern Ireland will remain in the European Single Market, which allows for the free flow of goods and services throughout EU member states. Ms.

"The reason they can't look us in the eye, it's because they know this will leave us worse-off and with less control".

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