NEW YORK: Some of Theresa May’s aides and ministers expect her to announce on Monday she’s delaying Tuesday’s House of Commons vote on her Brexit deal because she’s planning to convince European Union leaders meeting in Brussels to relax the terms of the agreement, the Sunday Times reported.
With the odds stacked against May in Parliament and EU ministers repeatedly saying there’s no Plan B, May could well be out of options. Some of her more loyal ministers are already planning for a new referendum, the newspaper said.
Whitehall officials have been discussing two versions of a potential new vote, the report said. One features a straight choice between May’s deal and staying in the bloc. The second option would ask voters to choose between leaving the EU and remaining in it, but with a supplementary question if the Leave camp wins — would they prefer the existing deal or a Brexit on WTO terms?
The Independent later reported that Downing Street denied the vote will be delayed, quoting a spokesman as saying “the vote is going ahead on Tuesday.’’
May told the Mail on Sunday that her MPs risk helping the Labour Party’s push for power if they throw out her accord. The country would be in “uncharted waters” if it’s rejected, she was reported saying.
According to the Telegraph, government whips have given Conservative lawmakers until about midday on Sunday to say how they’ll vote on May’s deal. The numbers continue to stack up against the prime minister.
In the same newspaper, Will Quince said he’s resigning as parliamentary private secretary to the defense minister. He can’t support May’s EU agreement because of the risk that, under the so-called backstop arrangement, Britain will be negotiating with Brussels indefinitely.
“I do not want to be explaining to my constituents why Brexit is still not over and we are still obeying EU rules in the early 2020s or beyond,” he wrote.