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Tories Won't Dump May, 'Only Care About Own Skins' - UKIP Leader Tells Sputnik

© REUTERS / Toby MelvilleBritain's Prime Minister Theresa May
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May - Sputnik International
Theresa May will return to Brussels for Brexit talks this weekend as the UK and EU strive to do a deal in time for Sunday's summit of European leaders. Sputnik spoke to UKIP leader Gerard Batten about the negotiations and whether Mrs. May would survive.

Brexit rebels within the Tory Party have failed to come up with the 48 letters of no confidence needed to trigger a leadership election.

Earlier this week Jacob Rees-Mogg, the backbencher who has led the revolt against the 585-page Brexit deal, told Tory MPs it was "now or never" to get rid of Mrs. May and said if she survived she would be the leader at the next General Election, with dire consequences.

But UKIP leader Gerald Batten, speaking to Sputnik, said says Tory MPs were more concerned with saving their own seats and would not get rid of Mrs. May for fear of triggering a General Election.

'Only Interested in Saving Their Own Miserable Skins'

"The Conservative Party will always worry about conserving the Conservative Party so I don't think they will get rid of Mrs. May. They are only interested in saving their own miserable skins. It's all they care about," Mr. Batten told Sputnik.

Mrs. May will return to Brussels on Saturday, November 24, for more talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

The Spanish government want last minute amendments to address the issue of Gibraltar, but Mrs. May says a deal is "within our grasp".

​Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab claimed on Friday, November 23, the deal which was being offered would be "debilitating" to the UK economy and offered the worst of both worlds — no membership of the EU but no ability to negotiate independent trade deals.

Mr. Batten said UKIP was disgusted by the deal.

"It's an absolute betrayal of the referendum decision. It's not really leaving the EU. It's designed to give us the worst possible terms and then extend the transition period to take us through to the next General Election when they will take us back in," Mr. Batten told Sputnik.

​So far only 26 Conservative MPs have written letters of no confidence in Mrs. May to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.

MPs in Tory Marginals Wavering

Among those who have written letters are MPs in three Tory marginal seats — Shipley, Morley and Middlesbrough South.

But Mr. Batten said many MPs in Tory marginals were more concerned with losing their seats at a General Election than representing Britain's national interest.

The Conservative Party is deeply divided between the Remain and Leave wings, with one Remainer, Damian Collins, saying he would prefer a second referendum rather than accepting the deal which is on the table at the moment.

​Mr. Batten has this threat for Mr. Collins and other Remainers, such as Anna Soubry.

"We will look to beat Remain MPs at the next general election," Mr. Batten told Sputnik.

Mrs. May said the British public want Brexit be "settled" so the UK can leave the EU on March 29 and she said she wanted to be able to focus on other important political issues in Britain.

Can Theresa May Survive Into 2019?

But she knows that finalising a deal and getting it agreed by the EU on Sunday, November 25, is by no means the end of the battle.

​It is possible more Tory MPs may then submit letters of no confidence in her or the Brexit deal may be rejected by a Parliament in a vote which is expected before Christmas.

Mrs. May took over as Prime Minister in the summer of 2016 after David Cameron quit after the vote for Brexit in the referendum.

Both Mr. Cameron and Mrs. May had campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU.

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