The Latest: Merkel committed to ‘orderly’ Brexit

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on political turmoil in Britain (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is underlining the European Union’s insistence on sticking to the Brexit agreement as it stands, but stressing that she remains committed to an orderly British withdrawal.

Merkel, who met Tuesday with British Prime Minister Theresa May, noted that “things are in flux” in London.

She said that “we do not have any intention of changing the withdrawal agreement” but otherwise didn’t go into detail.

Merkel said that Germany remains committed to securing an orderly British withdrawal, and said that “we don’t have much time, but we still have time.”


10:55 a.m.

Business figures have expressed alarm about the political uncertainty in the U.K. ahead of a Conservative Party confidence vote on Prime Minister Theresa May later.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said politicians should understand the impact of their “high stakes gambles” with Britain’s economy.

“At one of the most pivotal moments for the U.K. economy in decades, it is unacceptable that Westminster politicians have chosen to focus on themselves, rather than on the needs of the country,” he said after the Conservative Party said there would a vote on May’s leadership.

He said there was “utter dismay” among businesses about the vote on Wednesday evening.

Federation of Small Businesses chairman Mike Cherry said the current turmoil is “weighing heavy” on entrepreneurs.


9 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says a change of national leader would result in Britain’s departure from the European Union being delayed or stopped, as she vowed to fight to stay in power.

May made the defiant statement outside Downing Street on Wednesday, arguing that stepping aside at a time of crisis would “put our country’s future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it.” 

The U.K. leader is facing a no-confidence vote that will see her removed as party and government leader if she loses.


8:50 a.m.

U.K. leader Theresa May is vowing to fight a no-confidence vote “with everything I’ve got,” appealing to party colleagues to support her leadership.

The announcement of the challenge to May’s leadership throws Britain’s already rocky path out of the European Union, which it is due to leave in March, into further chaos.  

Many Tory lawmakers have been growing angry with May over her handling of Brexit, and the challenge comes days after she postponed a vote to approve a divorce deal with the EU to avoid all but certain defeat. 

If she loses Wednesday’s vote, May must step down and there will be a contest to choose a new leader. She will remain leader, and prime minister, until the successor is picked. If she wins, she can’t be challenged again for a year.


7:55 a.m.

A British Conservative Party official says Prime Minister Theresa May will face a no-confidence vote from party lawmakers.

Graham Brady says the threshold of 48 letters from lawmakers needed to trigger a leadership vote has been reached. Brady chairs the party committee that oversees leadership contests.

Many lawmakers have been growing angry with May over her handling of Brexit.

If she loses the vote of party legislators, taking place on Wednesday evening, May must step down. If she wins, she can’t be challenged again for a year.

Categories: International News