November 15, 2018 / 11:16 AM / 25 days ago

HIGHLIGHTS-British ministers quit over draft Brexit deal

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit secretary and other ministers quit one by one on Thursday, striking at the heart of a draft divorce deal with the European Union she is struggling to save.

THURSDAY’S RESIGNATIONS Dominic Raab: Brexit minister Esther McVey: Work and Pensions Secretary Shailesh Vara: junior Northern Ireland minister Suella Braverman: junior Brexit minister

MARKETS The dollar jumped and traders bought into the safe-haven yen after the Brexit deal was plunged into uncertainty, spooking investors. The ministerial resignations sent sterling plummeting more than one percent .

European shares reversed early gains, falling into negative territory in a broadbased rout, with autos and banking stocks leading the fallers. Investors also continued to fret about Rome’s standoff with Brussels and Washington’s row over trade with Beijing. Thee pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.5 percent, with German, Spanish and French bourses firmly in negative territory. Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat.

PRIME MINISTER MAY COMMENTS “We have been preparing for no-deal and we continue to prepare for no-deal because I recognise that we have a further stage of negotiation with the European Council and then that deal when finalised ... has to come back to this House,” she told the House of Commons. “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.”

RESIGNATION COMMENTS Dominic Raab Britain’s Brexit minister resigned in protest at the government’s plans for leaving the EU, saying the Irish “backstop” arrangement was now the starting point for discussions on future ties which could severely prejudice the second phase of negotiations.

Esther McVey The welfare minister resigned, accusing the prime minister of failing to honour the result of the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.

Shailesh Vara The junior Northern Ireland minister resigned, saying the draft deal will leave the UK “in a half-way house with no time limit on when we will finally be a sovereign nation”. Suella Braverman The junior Brexit minister resigned, saying the proposed divorce deal was not what the British people voted for and risked breaking up the United Kingdom.

MARKETS The dollar jumped and traders bought into the safe-haven yen after Britain’s Brexit deal was plunged into uncertainty, spooking investors. The ministerial resignations sent sterling plummeting more than one percent .

COMMENTS Raab “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election ... This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust.” “No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime, imposed externally without any democratic control over the laws to be applied, nor the ability to decide to exit the arrangement.” “That arrangement is now also taken as the starting point for negotiating the Future Economic Partnership. If we accept that, it will severely prejudice the second phase of negotiations against the UK.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of opposition Labour Party “The withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration represent a huge and damaging failure ... The government ... is in chaos.”

Jon Trickett, member of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s senior team “Theresa May has no authority left and is clearly incapable of delivering a Brexit deal that commands even the support of her cabinet, let alone parliament and the people of our country,”

Compiled by David Stamp

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