LONDON: – Theresa May today faces fresh pressure to quit – whether or not she manages to force through her Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister is being urged to vow she’ll resign in a last-ditch bid to convince Brexiteers they should back her deal in the Commons this week.
This morning, the Prime Minister summoned Cabinet ministers for a Downing Street summit where she is laying out the next steps on Brexit.
It comes as May faces threats from all sides with multiple ex-allies calling for her to resign after The Sun said she must quit to save her deal.
Tory MP Nigel Evans said it was “important for her legacy” to name a date for her departure.
He told the BBC: “Clearly a number of people do not want the Prime Minister anywhere near the next phase of negotiations, which is the future trading relationship between ourselves and the EU.”
Brexiteer Marcus Fysh said the Cabinet were “lions led by donkeys”.
Yesterday the PM met a number of leading rebels including Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg at her country home, Chequers. No. 10 was forced to deny reports that she told them she’ll stand down if they agree to back her deal.
In his newspaper column today, Johnson hinted he’ll consider voting for the deal as long as Tories have the chance to elect a new leader afterwards. He wrote: “If she really wants her deal to go through parliament, the PM could still set out convincing proofs of how the next phase of the negotiations – when all the key questions are to be settled – will be different from the first.
“How will we be able to take back control of our laws? Will we really do free trade deals? And can we really go on with a negotiating team that has so resoundingly failed?” Trade Secretary Liam Fox insisted that if Brexiteers refused to support May’s deal, the result would be a soft Brexit or staying in the EU permanently.
He said: “For a lot of my colleagues, I think they still believe there is a route to no deal. I have come to the conclusion some time ago that was unlikely given the House of Commons that we have.
“I think we will see today that there is a mood in the House of Commons to stop us leaving without a deal, even if that means no Brexit.”
In a further sign May is losing her grip, one junior minister suggested he backs the five million Britons who have called for Article 50 to be revoked, cancelling Brexit altogether.
Mark Field said: “My personal view is that I would be happy to revoke Article 50 – I appreciate that is probably a minority view.”
This week is likely to bring a series of crunch votes in the Commons. – The Sun