Tory Brexiteers have launched a bid to unseat Theresa May by Wednesday in a bid to force the UK to leave the EU without a deal on Friday. Rebel MP Mark Francois masterminded the plan, demanding a non-binding vote of confidence in Mrs May’s leadership.
Mark Francois said if MPs voted against Mrs May she would be placed under immense pressure to quit. As it stands, the UK is due to leave the EU on 12 April unless another extension is granted.
Will it work?
A successful vote of no confidence in Theresa May would not be legally binding, meaning the PM could chose to ignore it. While this would be highly unusual, Mrs May has so far weathered an extremely rocky premiership without caving to pressure to quit. The PM survived an official vote of no confidence in her leadership in December, meaning the process cannot be triggered for another year.
What does this mean for Brexit?
The latest in a long line of Brexiteer revolts, Mr Francois’ attempt to push Mrs May out of the door demonstrates the deep unease over her Brexit strategy. The PM has reached out to Labour in an attempt to come up with a plan to break the Brexit deadlock, which Eurosceptics fear will mean a move towards a soft Brexit. Mrs May suggested she might soften her red lines yesterday when she released a video saying that talks will mean ‘compromise on both sides’.
The EU will decide on Wednesday whether or not there has been enough progress in the talks to merit another short Brexit extension. If they say no, the UK will leave without a deal on Friday.