WORLD British PM busy seeking support for her Brexit deal

WORLD

British PM busy seeking support for her Brexit deal

Xinhua

08:05, November 18, 2018

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(Photo: CGTN)

LONDON, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May revealed Saturday how she ended one of the busiest days of her time in Downing Street by going home to do the washing.

May spent the weekend contacting leading Conservatives, seeking to win support for the draft Brexit agreement agreed earlier this week by the majority of her front bench ministers.

So far a threatened challenge to May has not materialised, with political commentators saying the required 48 names needed among MPs to trigger a vote of no confidence had not yet been reached.

More leading supporters rallied to May's support, with environment minister Therese Coffey saying in a radio interview Saturday that May would win a vote of no confidence very convincingly.

Coffey said she was confident May has delivered on the result of the 2016 EU membership referendum, adding the withdrawal agreement is only temporary.

Media reports in London also said Saturday that five leading ministers are hoping to persuade May to make changes to her draft Brexit proposals.

The five ministers were named widely in media reports as Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, Environment Secretary Gove, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

They specifically want to change the part regarding the arrangements for the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland which has been one of the main sticking points in talks with Brussels.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail newspaper Saturday, May gave a rare glimpse of life behind the scenes for Britain's most important politician.

Describing her determined demeanor during the interview as a "picture of calm under the circumstances", the newspaper asked May about the day this week when she faced hours of questions in the House of Commons, and was told that four of her ministers, including her Brexit Secretary had resigned.

May, who is diabetic and relies on insulin, had an air of steely composure as she talked candidly about her marriage, her faith, and how she copes with plotters within her own Conservative Party.

She said of her week: "It's been a pretty heavy couple of days", admitting to the Mail that when she went up to her Downing Street living area late on Wednesday the first thing her husband Philip did was to pour her a whisky.

May told the Mail she could not survive the pressure cooker of politics without her husband at her side.

"I always say he is my rock. It's hugely important to have somebody there who is supportive of you, not involved in the intricacies of politics, but there to provide human support," said May candidly.

The couple met when they were both at Oxford University when, according to May, he was as politically ambitious as she was.

"He thinks what I am doing is important for the British people, though he doesn't put it like that. He says 'Keep going, this matters, keep doing the right thing,'" added May.

May also said her husband feels the pain of the vicious personal attacks on her by Conservative Party critics even more than she does.

She told the Mail: "It's often harder for the other half because they are watching it and feel protective and think 'Why are they saying that to my wife?' He does feel some of the hurt himself -- he's bound to. We've been married for 38 years, that's a long time."

After talking about the domesticity of home and family life, May, said the Mail, went onto the defensive when the topic turned to Brexit.

When challenged over claims that the European Union (EU) would be able veto Britain leaving the EU customs union, May retorted: "No, no, no, no. In the future we will leave customs union."


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