British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing widespread pressure to quit but can her lawmakers actually force her from office? May has already promised she will resign to let someone else negotiate Britain’s future relationship with the EU and has agreed to set out the timetable for her departure after putting her exit deal to another vote in parliament early next month. But an attempt to relaunch her European Union divorce deal with sweeteners aimed at winning over sceptics in her own party and opponents has been loudly criticised. Some Conservative lawmakers now say there is no point delaying Theresa May exit, but can the party force her to go sooner than she wants to? FORMAL LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE Conservative Members of Parliament cannot use the party’s formal process to challenge Theresa May until December because they tried and failed to oust her in December 2018. The rules of the process state that May is immune to further challenge for 12 months from the date of any failed leadership challenge. It is possible for the committee which represents Conservative lawmakers – known as the 1922 Committee – to change the rules of the process, but they have so far chosen not to do so. Nigel Evans, one member of the committee’s executive, said May should make way and he would be pushing for a vote on the issue at a meeting on Wednesday. VOTE OF CONFIDENCE Parliament can vote on whether it has confidence in May’s government. If a majority of
Prime Minister Theresa May’s final Brexit gambit was in tatters on Wednesday just hours after her offer of a vote on a second referendum and closer trading arrangements failed to win over either opposition lawmakers or many in her own party. Nearly three years since Britain voted 52% to 48% to leave the European Union, May is trying one last time to get her divorce deal approved by the British parliament before her crisis-riven premiership ends. May on Tuesday appealed to lawmakers to get behind her deal, offering the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives. Conservative and Labour lawmakers lined up to criticise May’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill, or WAB, legislation which implements the terms of Britain’s departure. Some upped efforts to oust her. “We are being asked to vote for a customs union and a second referendum. The Bill is directly against our manifesto – and I will not vote for it. We can and must do better – and deliver what the people voted for,” Boris Johnson, the bookies favourite to be Britain’s next prime minister, said. The deadlock in London means it is unclear how, when or even if Britain will leave the European club it joined in 1973. The current deadline to leave is Oct. 31. Britain’s labyrinthine crisis over Brexit has stunned allies and foes alike, and with deadlock in London, the world’s fifth largest economy faces an array of options including an exit
Prime Minister Theresa May set out on Tuesday a “new deal” for Britain’s departure from the European Union, offering sweeteners to opposition parties in her fourth attempt to break an impasse in parliament over Brexit. Three years since Britain voted to leave the EU and almost two months after the planned departure date, May is mounting a last bid to try to get the deeply divided parliament’s backing for a divorce deal and leave office with some kind of legacy. The odds do not look good. Despite offering what she described as “significant further changes”, many lawmakers, hardened in their positions, have already decided not to vote next month for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, legislation which implements the terms of Britain’s departure. Speaking at the headquarters of PricewaterhouseCoopers, May appealed to lawmakers to get behind her deal, offering the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives. “I say with conviction to every MP or every party: I have compromised, now I ask you to compromise,” she said. “We have been given a clear instruction by the people we are supposed to represent, so help me find a way to honour that instruction, move our country and our politics and build the better future that all of us want to see.” By offering the possibility of holding a second vote on her deal and a compromise on customs arrangements, May hopes to win over opposition Labour lawmakers, whose votes she
Brexit-supporting rebels in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party said on Wednesday they would vote down her European Union divorce deal when she brings it back to parliament next month. Britain had been due to leave the EU on March 29 but parliament has three times rejected the withdrawal agreement May struck with Brussels. The United Kingdom is now scheduled to leave, with or without a deal to smooth the exit, by Oct. 31. Defeat in the vote would likely spell the end of May’s divorce deal and probably her premiership. May will bring a Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), which implements the departure terms, to parliament for a vote in the week beginning June 3, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said, just as U.S. President Donald Trump begins a divisive state visit to Britain. “I have talked to colleagues, some of whom voted for it last time, and they think it is dead and they will vote against it this time,” Peter Bone, a Conservative lawmaker and Brexit supporter, told Talk Radio. “It seems absurd to bring it back. It is the same thing again, again and again.” May, who became prime minister in the chaos that followed the 2016 referendum in which Britons voted 52% to 48% to leave the EU, is under pressure from some of her own lawmakers to set a date for her departure. As well as the Brexit deadlock, the Conservative Party suffered major losses in local elections this month and is trailing in opinion
Prime Minister Theresa May could reach a Brexit deal with the opposition Labour Party within days, a leading Conservative Party figure said on Saturday, after senior ministers urged compromise following poor local election results.
Ruth Davidson, the Conservatives’ leader in Scotland, told party members that a cross-partisan agreement on Brexit was needed before this month’s European elections, or Britain’s major parties would face an even bigger backlash from voters.
The Conservatives lost 1,332 seats on English local councils that were up for re-election, and Labour - which would typically aim to gain hundreds of seats in a mid-term vote - instead lost 81.
Many voters expressed frustration at May’s failure to have taken Britain out of the European Union, almost three years after the country decided to leave in a referendum.
“If we thought yesterday’s results were a wake-up call, just wait for the European elections on the 23rd of May,” Davidson told a party conference in Aberdeen.
A British government minister will be called to parliament on Thursday to answer a question on the findings of an inquiry into the disclosure of confidential information relating to Chinese telecoms company Huawei, the opposition Labour Party said. Prime Minister Theresa May fired her defense minister Gavin Williamson on Wednesday over a leak of discussions in the National Security Council. A Labour Party account tweeted that the question would be asked at 0930 GMT.