Prime Minister Theresa May battled on Thursday to save a draft divorce deal with the European Union after her Brexit secretary and other ministers quit in protest and eurosceptic lawmakers stepped up efforts to topple her.
A day after May announced that her team of top ministers had agreed to the terms of the draft deal, Brexit minister Dominic Raab and work and pensions minister Esther McVey resigned.
Lawmakers suggested other ministers would quit and eurosceptics in May's Conservative Party said they had submitted letters calling for a no confidence vote in her leadership.
But the prime minister showed little sign of backing down. She told parliament: "The choice is clear. We can choose to leave with no deal, we can risk no Brexit at all, or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated."
Her spokesman said May would fight any confidence vote and she intended to be prime minister when Britain leaves the bloc next year.
- British Envoy Back in Riyadh, as Theresa May Rebuffs Calls to Stop Arms Deals With Saudi Arabia
- U.K. Will Immediately Recognize Palestine if Labour Elected, Says Corbyn
Boris Johnson, a leading critic of May's Brexit plans who has done little to hide his political ambition, attended a meeting of the European Research Group, where Rees-Mogg and members discussed how many no-confidence letters had gone in.
Rees-Mogg told journalists the next prime minister should be a person who believed in Brexit.
Turmoil in May's government and the prospects of a Corbyn becoming British Prime Minister led to a wave of political satire on Twitter.
"I’m really enjoying the season finale of The UK," wrote one social media comedian, while another said, "One of those days when it's hard to decide which political car crash to watch: Washington's or London's."
Others took a more serious approach in their skewering of the situation,"Four words that should terrify the civilized world: Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn," wrote Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake. Tony Blair appealed to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to back a new vote on #Brexit, saying the party "would actually go up in the polls" if it "took a stand."