WATCH: Theresa May on the brink amid resignations
PUBLISHED: 11:26 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 15 November 2018
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The prime minister is facing the biggest crisis of her premiership as several minsters walked out over the Brexit deal.
Theresa May has spoken to the house in a bid to prop up her deal with the European Union but four ministerial resignations and growing anger among hardline Brexiteers have left the government reeling.
Cabinet members Dominic Raab and Esther McVey, and junior ministers Shailesh Vara and Suella Braverman quit just hours after May begged for support for her deal.
And rumours were rife that environment secretary Michael Gove could be the next to go. A source said “no comment” when pressed on Gove’s future. He was not present in the House of Commons for the prime minister’s statement.
In the House the May urged her party to get behind the deal adding: “We can choose to leave with no deal. We can risk no Brexit at all. Or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated. This deal.”
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the negotiations bungled and slammed the deal as botched. He added that the deal did not meet his party’s six tests.
There was laughter in the House as the prime minister said the deal would allow the UK to leave “in a smooth and orderly way” on March 29.
“It takes back control of our borders, laws and money. It protects jobs, security and the integrity of the United Kingdom, and it delivers in ways that many said could simply not be done,” the PM said.
“We were told we had a binary choice between the model of Norway and the model of Canada, that we could not have a bespoke deal.
“But the outline political declaration sets out an arrangement that is better for our country than both of these - a more ambitious free trade agreement than the EU has with any other country.
“We were told we would be treated like any other third country on security co-operation.
“But the outline political declaration sets out a breadth and depth of co-operation beyond anything the EU has agreed with any other country.”
Setting out details of the arrangements for a possible “backstop”, May added: “I do not pretend that this has been a comfortable process, or that either we or the EU are entirely happy with some of the arrangements which have been included in it.
“But of course this is the case. This is an arrangement that we have both said we never want to have to use.
“But while some people might pretend otherwise, there is no deal which delivers the Brexit the British people voted for which does not involve this insurance policy – not Canada-plus-plus-plus, not Norway-for-now, not our own White Paper.
“The EU will not negotiate any future partnership without it.”