May to speak to every EU leader in bid to break Brexit deadlock

LONDON (AFP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday vowed to speak to every European Union (EU) member state leader “over the coming days”, as she wrote to Conservative MPs to appeal for unity over Brexit.

In the letter to her fractious colleagues, excerpts of which were released by Downing Street late on Saturday, May urged the party to “move beyond what divides us”.

The embattled British leader said ruling Tories need to sacrifice “personal preferences” for the “higher service of the national interest”.

The plea came after May this week suffered another parliamentary defeat over Brexit, suggesting a shortlived period of party unity over reforming her draft EU divorce deal may not survive.

On Thursday night, MPs rejected a motion expressing support for May’s efforts to seek changes to her under-fire agreement, after members of her own Conservative party abstained.

In her letter to lawmakers on Saturday, the prime minister called the vote “disappointing” but insisted she would keep seeking to secure changes to the so-called backstop arrangement in the deal.

Her office revealed she planned “to speak to the leader of every EU member state in the coming days”.

“I do not underestimate how deeply or how sincerely colleagues hold the views which they do on this important issue,” May told Tories, referring to Brexit.