The keen gaze of the political world was trained squarely on the House of Commons on Thursday, as an embattled Theresa May defended her draft Brexit agreement in front of sceptical MPs.
Reeling from a raft of resignations, the prime minister spent three hours fielding questions, with politicians from all parties demanding more detail on what exactly the divorce bill means for the UK’s future.
And May’s own future looks precarious at best, as she waits to find out whether enough of her own MPs have turned against her to trigger a challenge to her leadership.
But what do voters think of the latest developments? Are they aware of the deal – and do they care if MPs back it? HuffPost UK spoke to people on the streets of Preston – where 53% of voters backed Leave – to hear their views.
Val Ash, 71
“A lot of unnecessary internal politics”
“I don’t know what is happening with Brexit. To be honest, I am sick of hearing about it,” 71-year-old Val told HuffPost. She says when people went to the polls more than two years ago, whether they voted Remain or Leave, no one anticipated such huge political fallout.
“I do care about it, as you don’t know what will happen in the long-run and you worry about what it will mean for the future.”
She is sceptical about a second referendum, she said. “I don’t think there should be a People’s Vote. We have had the referendum and told we are coming out of the EU so that is what should happen.
“Theresa May is obviously trying her hardest to survive. I am not for or against her, but I do think she has had a tough time.
“I think there has been a lot of unnecessary internal politics in the whole saga.”
Jack Graham, 21
“I have a vague idea of what is happening”
Jack Graham, an astrophysics student, feels the whole situation could have been handled a lot better. “I have a vague idea of what is happening today with Brexit. I know they have finally got through the meeting and a deal has been presented and a few people have resigned,” he said.
“I voted to leave myself as in my opinion, the European Union was becoming too far removed from democracy for me to feel comfortable with.
“I think Brexit could have been done better, but I had suspicions it would end up disjointed like this.”
On the latest events, the 21-year-old said: “With the resignations that have happened, I think ministers have the right to resign if they don’t agree with the deal and they should not back it unless they believe in it.
“I don’t think there should be a People’s Vote, as the point of a democracy is that you have a vote and whether you like the result or not, you go with it.
“You can’t re-do an election just because your party didn’t win.”
Graham said he believes Theresa May is “desperately trying to survive”.
“In my opinion she won’t be successful and won’t stand for the next election,” he added.
Brian Stocks, 62
“All politicians are a waste of space”
Brian Stocks is totally disillusioned with politics. “All politicians are a waste of space,” he told HuffPost.
“I don’t really know what is going on with Brexit – I just know it’s a stitch-up. I voted to come out as I was sick of being dictated to by Europe.
“I don’t think MPs should back the deal unless it is a totally clean break. I am convinced we can manage on our own. It’s a big world out there and Europe needs us as much as we need them.”
Stocks doesn’t believe there should be a second referendum or a public vote on the final deal. “We had a democratic vote to come out of Europe and that’s that,” he added. “Otherwise people would just keep voting until they get the result they want.
“Theresa May is clinging on to anything to survive. She should have gone when she did not get the majority vote when she called the snap election, which was a stupid thing to do.”
Nita Euphory, 18
“I think it’s more important to people in London”
Nursing student Nita Euphory wasn’t old enough to vote in the referendum, but says she would probably have opted to remain. However, she admits she doesn’t really understand Brexit or know what is going on.
“I have no idea about Brexit and don’t watch the news at all so don’t know anything about the deal,” she said. “I don’t know much about how politics work and I think there are a lot of young people like me who don’t really care, or have too much interest.
“I think it’s more important to people in London, as that’s where Parliament is.
“I just want to live my life and I am not really interested in politics as I can’t see how it affects me.”
The 18-year-old says if more young people felt like they were properly represented, there would be more interest among her age group and she supports a second referendum.
“There needs to be more awareness about what is going on in politics and its relevance to young people today,” she added.
“I think the fairest thing would be to have a People’s Vote and let them have their say now they know the implications.
Louise Ward, 41
“Politics just goes over my head”
Louise Ward works in a contact centre and admits she doesn’t have the first idea about what is happening with Brexit.
“I haven’t got a clue what’s happening and politics just goes over my head,” she said. “I don’t care about Brexit because I don’t understand it and don’t know what the changes are going to be.
“I didn’t vote in the referendum, as I work funny work patterns and probably forgot.
“I think the further up north you go, especially for people of my generation and younger, people don’t really understand the full ins and outs of what is happening in politics and don’t see how it affects them.”
Novyan Ellis, 24
“I don’t think having another vote will change things”
An engineering student, Novyan Ellis believes it’s a shame Britain is leaving the European Union.
He said: “I think it is unfortunate we are leaving, as it had some benefits.
“I don’t really know much about the deal the prime minister has presented and don’t really know what is happening with Brexit.”
The 24-year-old says he would have preferred the UK to stay inside the bloc, but doesn’t believe a second referendum will solve the problem.
“There have been reports of dodgy things happening with the first vote,” he added. “But I don’t think having another vote will change things.”