News World Please back me on Brexit, Theresa May tells party in letter

Please back me on Brexit, Theresa May tells party in letter

British Prime Minister Theresa May has a busy week ahead as the Brexit deadline looms. Photo: Getty
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British Prime Minister Theresa May has called on members of her Conservative party to “move beyond what divides us,” three days after she suffered another humiliating defeat on her Brexit plans in parliament.

In a letter sent to the 317 Conservative MPs, Mrs May said the result of Thursday’s vote was “disappointing” and noted that “history will judge us all for the parts we have played in this process”.

The prime minister also said she would return to Brussels for talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this week and would speak to every EU leader over the next few days.

Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29, but MPs have failed to support Mrs May’s withdrawal deal, while the EU has said it will not renegotiate it.

Conservative eurosceptics abstained from Thursday’s vote on Mrs May’s plan to seek last-minute changes to the withdrawal agreement, condemning her minority government to defeat.

The eurosceptics were unhappy that the motion appeared to rule out the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal, arguing that it weakened Britain’s negotiating position.

Sunday’s letter indicated however that Mrs May has not changed her strategy.

“I do not underestimate how deeply or how sincerely colleagues hold the views which they do on this important issue,” she wrote.

“But I believe that a failure to make the compromises necessary to reach and take through parliament a withdrawal agreement which delivers on the result of the referendum will let down the people who sent us to represent them and risk the bright future that they all deserve.”