Theresa May wins Conservative leadership challenge 200-117

Theresa May addresses the media outside 10 Downing Street

May, who on Wednesday survived a plot in her party to oust her, asked European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels for political and legal assurances that she said could convince the British parliament to approve her deal.

She said: "In my heart, I would love to be able to lead the Conservative Party into the next General Election but it is right that the party feels it would prefer to go into that election with a new leader".

She pledged to seek "legal and political assurances" on the Brexit backstop to allay MPs' concerns about her Withdrawal Agreement when she attends a European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday.

On specifying question of journalists, whether it means that she is retiring, may answered in the negative. DUP leader Arlene Foster, who met May shortly before the vote, insisted "tinkering around the edges" of the PM's deal would not be enough to win her party's support for the PM's Brexit deal.

Cabinet ally Michael Gove has said today he still thinks her deal - thought to be down for a Commons vote on January 14 - will pass. Despite the near constant criticism, including from inside her own government, May has kept at it and compares herself to her cricketing hero Geoffrey Boycott, who was a byword for doggedness as a batsman. Despite Theresa May's victory, it is time for a change.

Theresa May, Britain's embattled prime minister, is pressing on with fraught Brexit negotiations after surviving an attempt to oust her from power Wednesday night. The government, for its part, has forecast a potential economic slump of more than nine percent in the wake of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit will once again dominate an European Union summit which had been planned to deal with the thorny issues of migration, budgets and eurozone.

"Our UK friends need to say what they want, instead of asking us to say what we want and so we would like within a few weeks our UK friends to set out their expectations for us, because this debate is sometimes nebulous and imprecise and I would like clarifications", he said. He continued: "Having told the media this morning that she's made progress, can she now update the house on what changes she has secured to her deal?"

"I don't expect an immediate breakthrough, but what I do hope is that we can start work as quickly as possible on the assurances that are necessary", Mrs May said.

But when May took it home, she ran into renewed opposition from hardline Brexiteers in her Conservative party and this week she baulked at putting it to a vote in parliament.

Foreign minister Alistair Burt was more blunt: "They never, ever stop".

"He would be an extraordinary moment for the Conservative Party - the first muslim Conservative Party leader, son of an immigrant bus driver who made it the hard way - that's an impressive story in itself".

Vague prospects of cosmetic reassurances don't change the fact that the Prime Minister will come back to the United Kingdom empty-handed, when she could have come back with a new deal securing membership of the Single Market & Customs Union.

This is uncomfortably close to Britain's scheduled exit day on March 29, 2019 - and Juncker said he was stepping up preparations in case it leaves with no deal in place. "After the apocalypse, all that will be left will be ants and Tory MPs complaining about Europe and their leader". "Indeed it is the only deal that is capable of getting through my parliament".

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