May told to quit by pro-Brexit Tories
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered a double Brexit blow as she prepares for Conservative MPs to deliver their verdict on whether she should remain in office and as cross-party talks with Labour appear to have failed.
A party revolt has been threatened in June if she does not say when she will stand down after she failed to avoid the UK’s participation in the European elections on May 23.
The National Conservative Convention, which represents grassroots Conservatives, is planning to hold a motion of no confidence on June 15 in May and her handling of Brexit.
Conservative MPs on both sides of the Brexit divide are telling May that a people’s vote on Brexit is becoming “inevitable”, as talks with Labour to break the impasse looked set to fail.
As Brexit talks entered their sixth week, Labour’s spokesman on the issue, Keir Starmer, insisted he would force the Conservative to end their refusal to contemplate another referendum as the price of a deal. The pro-EU MP said it was “crunch time”.
Daniel Kawczynski, a Conservative Brexit extremist, also predicted a people’s vote could become the only option “to break the gridlock”.
“If we cannot do this, if this is beyond us, and if we fail, then another referendum is inevitable,” the right-wing Tory MP said.
Ed Vaizey, a pro-remain Conservative, said he was “warming to the idea” of a people’s vote as potentially “the only way to finally have closure on Brexit”.
Today (Wednesday) will see Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs, reveal the outcome of his secret talks over a timetable for May’s departure.
The 1922 Committee treasurer, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, said if May failed to set out a resignation timetable: “It begins to get much more messy. It would be much easier and I think the European elections would be much easier if she did set out her own timetable to go but it is up to her.
“I think it’s quite possible [party members] might vote for no-confidence in June.”
But May says she wants to remain in office until the Conservative conference this September after setting a new summer deadline to complete Brexit.
Yesterday David Lidington, her deputy, admitted that Britain would participate in the European elections, despite numerous promises from May.
One pro-remain Conservative MP anonymously told The Times that it might be time for May to go. “It’s quite clear that giving her more time will achieve nothing but feed Nigel Farage’s Brexit betrayal narrative,” the MP said. “She needs to go and Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab should take over and see if they can do better.”
A people’s vote could end the Brexit crisis. Picture credit: Wikimedia