The UK government is trying to persuade Prime Minister Theresa May to delay the vote on the draft Brexit agreement in parliament, due to be held on December 11, for fear that the cabinet may lose and be dismissed as a result, The Times newspaper reported.
According to The Times newspaper, UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is urging May to call off Tuesday’s vote, in which the prime minister is expected to be defeated by about 100 votes or even more.
Many other ministers, including Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Secretary for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd, believe that the UK government should continue to move forward with the agreed draft deal but still call off the parliament vote, the news outlet added.
The draft Brexit agreement is expected to be voted down not only by opposition parties but also members of May’s Conservative Party. On 3 December, however, the UK interior minister stated that the vote in parliament would take place on Tuesday, as planned, saying that there were no chances the vote would be called off.
Last month, May defended a draft Brexit deal in the UK parliament’s House of Commons. The agreement faced criticism both from the opposition and the ruling party, with several members of May’s cabinet having resigned over disagreements with the deal.
While some lawmakers called for a new Brexit referendum, May rejected the idea and called on the parliament to approve the agreement in order to avoid “more division” and “more uncertainty.” The agreement was endorsed by the leaders of the remaining 27 EU member states in late November.