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Theresa May names Steve Barclay as new Brexit Secretary
19 November 2018, 02:14 | Tara Lloyd
Brexit clash intensifies - AM
British media reported that several pro-Brexit senior Conservatives, including House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, were trying to persuade May to renegotiate the divorce deal in a way they find more acceptable.
Earlier, Stephen Barclay was picked as the newBrexit secretary, replacing Dominic Raab who quit on Thursday, as Mrs May sought to fill her cabinet following the resignations.
The cabinet reshuffle comes as Environment Secretary Michael Gove, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox chose to stay in the cabinet amid a number of dissenters' attempts to hand in letters of no confidence to try to oust May.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May's minority government, say they intend to oppose the deal because of the "backstop" mechanism agreed to by May would mean additional checks on goods passing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The biggest sticking point in the over 500-page draft remains over what is termed as a Northern Ireland backstop, which leaves the EU with the option of keeping the whole of the United Kingdom within a common Customs Union if a future trading relationship fails to be thrashed out during the transition period, set to run until December, 2021.
Asked how he would vote today if he could, he said: "I don't know".
Leadsom told Sky News Saturday "there is still more to be done" to get "the best possible deal for the U.K." before the draft withdrawal agreement is signed off on November 25 in Brussels.
"After two years of hard work, we are now arriving at what I firmly believe is the right deal for Britain ..."
Another pro-Brexit minister, worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox, also spoke out in her favour, urging MPs to support the premier's draft Brexit agreement, saying a "deal was better than no deal".
She will also be visiting Brussels, she added, and will talk to EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker as part of the week's discussions. "We need to stick them in a room and say, "Let's not repeat the mistake of last time", decide among yourselves - even if you have to draw lots - which one of you is our candidate as a Brexiteer".
But the Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames said: "I am truly dismayed at the dismal behaviour of some of my Colleagues parading their letters to Graham Brady on TV in a vulgar and pathetic display of inferior virtue signalling". "Politics is a tough business and I've been in it for a long time". If she fails, the risk is that Britain tumbles out of the bloc in March without any deal to smooth the process.
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"The proposition would be: 'So far we've failed, can we have a vote of confidence please?'"
However, if May is unable to get a deal through then a no-deal Brexit becomes the default position.
'It gives us a framework to work with and is still better than no deal at all'.
Speaking to The News, MEP and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: 'This deal is the worst in history and is a trap to keep us stuck inside European Union rules.
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