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British PM To Seek EU Concessions After Surviving Party No-Confidence Vote

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British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will seek concessions from the European Union over the terms of the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the bloc.

May made the remarks on December 12, hours after she survived a no-confidence vote among parliamentary members of her Conservative Party, many of whom have vowed to reject the deal, which sets out terms of Britain’s exit from the EU.

“When I go to the European Council [on December 13], I will be seeking legal and political assurances that assuage the concerns that members of parliament have on that [backstop] issue,” she said.

The “backstop” refers to the EU’s demand for a fallback clause to indefinitely maintain an open border between Northern Ireland, which is set to leave the bloc along with the rest of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which is a member of the EU.

In the vote among party members, 117 lawmakers voted against the prime minister in a secret ballot, while 200 voted to support her.

Most of those who voted against May are Brexit supporters who oppose her acceptance of the backstop plan.

In a closed speech before the vote, May promised to step down as party leader before the next general election scheduled in 2022.

On December 10, May postponed a crucial vote in parliament on her Brexit deal when it was clear it would not pass.

Euroskeptics complain the deal keeps Britain too closely tied to the EU. Pro-Europe lawmakers contend the deal goes too far, and some have called for a new referendum to let voters decide whether to reaffirm Brexit or reverse it and remain in the EU.

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RFE RL

RFE RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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