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‘This is the right Brexit’: Theresa May sticks to guns

Theresa May has defied her critics, telling the Commons "this is the right Brexit", as she set out her controversial Chequers plan.

Speaking just minutes after announcing the resignation of foreign secretary Boris Johnson, and a few hours after Brexit secretary David Davis and minister Steve Baker resigned, the Prime Minister ploughed on, telling MPs why she was sticking to her guns.

"I believe this is a plan which is good for the UK and which the EU will see can lead to a deep and special relationship in both our interests," she said.

To cackles and guffaws of laughter, May said her proposals were "challenging for the EU" but ultimately right. She pointed to the fact it would prevent a hard border in Ireland, while also protecting supply chains, and argued that the EU goods regulations that the UK would have to accept are relatively stable.

There would be a parliamentary lock on any new laws, she added and MPs would be able to to reject any proposals if it wanted, recognising that there would be consequences.

But May was plagued by questions about her fragile grip on the leadership, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn mocking her claim on Friday that she had restored collective responsibility within the Cabinet.

He noted that ministers' phones were removed, and had been threatened with their cars, and, "because of government cuts, there would have been no bus services".

Corbyn says jobs are at risk from Brexit. They should not be a sub-plot in a Tory civil war. He says we need a government than can negotiate on behalf of Britain. And if they cant, “they should make way for those who can”.

Asked by one MP about the rising number of letters being written challenging May's leadership, she demurred that she was getting on with the job. The Prime Minister will meet with the backbench 1922 committee tonight in an attempt to stave off any further rebellion.

Number 10 told journalists she would fight any vote of no confidence, insisting there was no "meltdown".

A vote of no confidence will come if 15 per cent of Tory MPs – currently 48 – write to 1922 committee chair Graham Brady, which would trigger a vote of the entire 316 MPs. If half or more back her, May will live to fight another day. If she loses, that would prompt another leadership contest.

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