US News Theresa May's Brexit woes 'could thrust David Davis into PM's post within weeks'

06:35  07 december  2017
06:35  07 december  2017 Source:   International Business Times

May denies agreement on £50bn Brexit bill

  May denies agreement on £50bn Brexit bill Theresa May has insisted there is still no agreement on the UK's Brexit bill despite reports British officials have committed up to £50bn to the EU. The Prime Minister told Sky News the UK is "still in negotiation" over the financial settlement but ruled out paying "huge sums of money to the EU every year" after Brexit.EU bosses have given Mrs May until Monday to make a fresh offer on key divorce issues if she wants to reach the next phase of Brexit talks - on trade and a transition period - by Christmas.

Allies of Brexit secretary David Davis are using Theresa May ' s Brexit woes as a chance to oust the prime minister.

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Theresa May holding a book © Reuters Theresa May

Allies of Brexit secretary David Davis think Theresa May could be gone as leader by Christmas as her struggles with European Union negotiations continue, it has been reported.

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell is said to be organising drinks evenings with a new generation of Tory MPs and plotting to replace the prime minister with David Davis.

Said to be in the frame for top jobs are Tom Tugendhat, James Cleverly and Gillian Keegan who would support Davis to take over the leadership. Davis would then stand aside ahead of the next election in 2022 for one of the high flyers to take over.

Pound falls despite Brexit border breakthrough in EU talks

  Pound falls despite Brexit border breakthrough in EU talks Pound falls despite Brexit border breakthrough in EU talksSterling fell half a cent against the dollar as the breakthrough was confirmed in Brussels, from above $1.35 to $1.3465. It was also largely flat against the euro at €1.1460.

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One ally of Davis told one of the younger Tory MPs: "Theresa has the smell of death around her. She'll be gone by Christmas. It's time to rally around DD, (David Davis)" the Sun reported.

a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a fence: David Davis © Getty David Davis

The prime minister faces resistance from within her party with some Tory MPs who back Leave saying they have lost confidence in her over Brexit in the wake of a proposal to align Northern Ireland with some EU trade rules to prevent a hard Irish border.

Bernard Jenkin MP told May in the Commons that other countries would be reluctant to do business with the UK "if we remain shackled to EU regulation after we've left the EU".

Concern over May's position as prime minister is shared in Brussels with the Telegraph reporting how European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker fears that her government could collapse next week if there is no progress on Brexit.

'Early morning meeting possible' as talks continue on new Brexit text

  'Early morning meeting possible' as talks continue on new Brexit text "Progress is being made" and an early morning meeting is expected as talks on a new text aimed at meeting Irish demands to avoid a hard border after Brexit continue, a spokesman for the EU Commission has said. The new text is currently being reviewed by the government.Donal Tusk, president of the European Council, is expected to make a statement early on Friday morning. © Catalyst Images UK Prime Minister Theresa May Meanwhile, a spokesman for the EU Commission said Jean Claude Junker discussed the situation with Mr Varadkar and Mrs May during separate phonecalls."We are making progress but not yet fully there.

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But Juncker wants May to stay as PM so as not to disrupt ongoing Brexit talks and there are fears in Brussels at a more hardline Brexiteer like Boris Johnson taking over.

  Theresa May's Brexit woes 'could thrust David Davis into PM's post within weeks' © AP

One EU official told the Telegraph: "Mr Juncker wants to support Mrs May to avoid the collapse of her government. He is prepared to meet her at any time, including on days next week in the run up to the European summit."

The Brexit deadline has been extended until Sunday (10 December) and if there is no agreement, trade talks would not be able to be started until March, by which time she may have faced a leadership challenge.

One formerly loyal Conservative MP said: "I would give her a matter of weeks if it carries on like this."

Meanwhile, the chancellor Philip Hammond angered Eurosceptics when he said Britain should honour its Brexit bill regardless of the progress of negotiations.

He told a select committee: "I find it inconceivable that we as a nation would be walking away from an obligation that we recognised as an obligation. That is not a credible scenario. That is not the kind of country we are. Frankly, it would not make us a credible partner for future international agreements."

Varadkar: Many EU countries don’t share Irish desire for close ties with the UK .
Ireland’s desire to keep close ties with The UK after Brexit is not shared across European Union countries. Speaking on Friday, on the second day of a European council summit in Brussels, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said ‘a lot of thinking’ would be needed on the EU side about the future relationship the bloc will have with Britain.

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