Theresa May sends out 30 ministers to sell Brexit plan

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May during a debate on the Brexit withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons in London on Dec 4 2018

Parliament's vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal will go ahead on December 11, her office said on Thursday, rejecting suggestions from lawmakers that she should seek ways to avoid a defeat so big it might bring down the government.

May faces an uphill struggle to secure parliament's approval in a vote on 11 December, when many Brexit supporters and opponents alike say they will reject her vision for leaving the EU, Britain's biggest shift in foreign policy in over 40 years.

Some speculate it could lead to a change of prime minister, an attempt to revise the Brexit deal, the complete collapse of government, or even a second vote on whether Britain and Northern Ireland should leave Europe at all.

The bleak picture has prompted Cabinet ministers and leading Brexiteers to plead with Mrs May to exploit Dublin's position before Tuesday's vote, The Times reported.

While there does exist a hardcore of "Brexiteers" who want Britain and Northern Ireland to leave the European Union with no deal, it is generally agreed that this is a minority view within Parliament.

"There are three options: one is to leave the European Union with a deal. the other two are that we leave without a deal or that we have no Brexit at all", May told BBC radio.

The proceedings against the government for contempt of parliament could potentially result in one or more ministers being suspended or expelled from the House of Commons.

May opened the first of five days of debate on the Brexit deal on Tuesday evening and Wednesday's discussion was to focus on security. "Either will leave us a fractured society and divided nation".

She said MPs may have a role to play on deciding whether the United Kingdom would enter the backstop or extend a possible transition period - but she gave few details.

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Another possibility is the reported investigation of the Trump Foundation for possible campaign finance violations. Flynn's sentencing will take place on December 18, more than a year after he pleaded guilty.

On Monday, the government's chief legal adviser, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, had published a summary of his legal advice, but that did not satisfy MPs who said the advice should have been published in full.

As it stands, the backstop would see some customs treated differently in Northern Ireland as in Great Britain.

It is a key condition of the continued support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up May's minority government.

Under the current deal the "backstop" would come into effect at the end of the Brexit transition period, which is due to last until the end of 2020 but may be extended.

Mr Graham said: "What we are trying to achieve is something that gets a lot of support from colleagues and that the government, we hope, will take forward because it will make a real difference to the vote".

We asked people the question; they gave us the answer. In the implementation period we still have to negotiate the terms, but there will be concerns that there would be more money to be paid, for example.

But opposition Labour Party lawmaker Chris Bryant said the agreement's vision for future relations with the European Union was "no more deliverable than a letter to Santa Claus".

Mr Grogan (Keighley) said: "The deal the Prime Minister is offering us is reality a blind Brexit". Another said it was: "Too little, too late".

The government had refused previous requests to publish the advice, which comes just a week before MPs vote on the deal itself, saying it would set a risky precedent if the Attorney General could not provide the Prime Minister with honest, confidential legal advice without fear of it being made public. May will either need to win them back or persuade a substantial number of opposition lawmakers to support the deal, which appears unlikely.

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