[WATCH] Updated | Brexit: Draft agreement is not final deal, May says, amid minister resignations

Brexit minister Dominic Raab, another senior minister and a number of junior ministers have resigned • European Council President Donald Tusk says Brexit summit will be held on 25 November unless something extraordinary happens 

British Prime Minister Theresa May told the Commons this morning that the draft withdrawal agreement was not the final Brexit deal
British Prime Minister Theresa May told the Commons this morning that the draft withdrawal agreement was not the final Brexit deal

The draft agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is not the final Brexit deal, Theresa May told the House of Commons this morning.

The British Prime Minister said that when a final deal is reached, she would present it to Parliament and ask MPs to give it their backing in the national interest.

May's statements come amid a series of resignations in her cabinet. Brexit minister Dominic Raab and Works and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey submitted letters of resignation Thursday morning. Northern Ireland junior minister Shailesh Vara, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Education Ministers Anne-Marie Trevelyan and junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman also stepped down.

Raab said he couldn't "in good conscience" support the Brexit deal.

The resignations happened just hours after May announced yesterday that she had secured her cabinet’s support for a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

Addressing the House today, May said that delivering Brexit involved difficult choices. She said those who resigned enjoyed her respect, as she thanked them for their service.

“The choice is clear: choose to leave with no deal, risk no Brexit at all, or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated,” May said.

"This deal ends free movement, takes back control of our borders, laws and money, and delivers an independent foreign and defence policy while continuing the security cooperation to keep our people safe."

The agreement would deliver “the wish of the British people” she insisted, adding that she chose to do what was “in the [best] interest of the British people”.

Earlier

EU member states will be analysing the Brexit agreement hammered out by technocrats after it was approved by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet on Wednesday.

In his first reaction to the approval by UK ministers, EU Council President Donald Tusk said member states will now be evaluating the 500-page deal over the next 48 hours.

However, Tusk had no qualms about what Brexit would mean, describing it as a “lose-lose situation”.

“Our negotiations are only about damage control… As much as I am sad to see you [British friends] leave, I will do everything to make this farewell the least painful possible, both for you and for us,” Tusk said.

His words came as May faced growing dissent from all fronts in the UK and the daunting task of trying to get the deal approved in the House of Commons. Her coalition partner, the Northern Irish DUP, has said it will not support the deal.

Tusk said by the end of this week, the EU27 ambassadors will meet in order to share their assessment of the agreement.

“I hope that there will not be too many comments. They will also discuss the mandate for the Commission to finalise the joint political declaration about the future relations between the EU and the UK. The European ministers will be involved in this process,” Tusk said.

The European Commission intends to agree the declaration about the future with the UK by Tuesday.

A Brexit summit will take place on 25 November unless something extraordinary happens, Tusk added.

READ MORE: Theresa May secures Cabinet’s support for draft Brexit withdrawal agreement

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