(CN) – British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Wednesday that her Cabinet has decided to back a draft Brexit deal with the European Union after an “impassioned” debate.
“This is a decisive step which allows us to move on and finalize the deal in the days ahead,” May said as she emerged from a five-hour meeting with the Cabinet.
Ahead of the meeting, some pro-Brexit lawmakers in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party roundly panned the draft deal, saying it would leave Britain bound by EU rules.
They even hinted they planned to challenge her leadership.
Under Conservative rules, a no-confidence vote in the leader is triggered if 15 percent of party lawmakers write letters requesting one.
The required number currently stands at 48 lawmakers, and only one person, Graham Brady, the keeper of the letters, knows how many letters were actually submitted.
European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the draft deal accepted by Britain is a decisive step in the talks and is signaling that EU leaders can convene a summit soon to endorse it.
Barnier told reporters Wednesday that “this accord represents a decisive step toward concluding this negotiation.”
He added: “I consider that we have achieved ‘decisive progress,'” the announcement that EU leaders have been awaiting from him to call a summit.
Barnier didn’t directly address the summit or its possible date, although Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said that a leaders’ meeting is penciled in for Nov. 25.