United Kingdom leader fights back against critics, defends Brexit deal

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A "hard Brexit" is generally seen as a British departure from the European Union in which it loses all access to EU markets and the EU customs union; a "soft Brexit" is generally seen as a British departure from the EU in which the United Kingdom retains some access to EU markets and stays in the customs union but at the price of compromising on immigration policies.

May is sticking resolutely to her strategy in the face of widespread hostility from opposition parties, her supposed allies in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, and members of her own Conservatives. Former junior Health Minister Stephen Barclay replaced Raab as Brexit secretary, while ex-Interior Minister Amber Rudd was named to the work and pensions post.

He will replace Dominic Raab who resigned on Thursday over his disagreement with the draft Brexit deal backed by the Cabinet.

There were also continuing reports of a plan by senior Cabinet ministers who remain in Government to try to alter the withdrawal agreement at the 11th hour.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the influential leader of a group of 60 rank-and-file pro-Brexit Tories announced on Thursday he had sent a formal letter demanding a vote of no confidence in May's leadership, with other lawmakers following suit.

"Serving in high office is an honor and a privilege", but also a heavy responsibility, she said.

"This is a withdrawal agreement which took the best part of two years to negotiate involving 28 countries", said Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

It comes as Mrs May fights to get her cabinet, parliament and the country to back the Brexit agreement she has struck with Brussels.

Mr McFadden said: "If she can not get the agreement through Parliament then I think we have to put the issue back to the people". A total of 48 letters are needed to trigger a party leadership election that could topple her as prime minister.

Brexiteers hate the agreement because they fear the United Kingdom will become trapped inside the European Union for years, subject to European Union regulations and laws over which the U.K. will no longer have any influence.

'It gives us a framework to work with and is still better than no deal at all'. "I don't think anybody can deny her resolve to do that".

This means that unless Theresa May can persuade similar numbers of Labour MPs to back her, the deal will not be passed.

'I do think there is a point at which, we probably should have done it before, were we just say "I'm sorry this is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we can not accept those dictated terms"'. Around 20 have already called for a vote of no confidence in May because of the deal with around a dozen more also suggesting they are likely to oppose the deal, both on the Leave and Remain wings of the party.

May's spokeswoman said there had been strong business support for her draft deal but British aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce was continuing with its no-deal contingency plans. She is appalled that it would leave Britain in a transitional customs union with the EU after its formal exit from the union next March.

"Some politicians get so embroiled in the intricacies of their argument they forget it is not about this theory or that theory, or does it make me look good".

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