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Brexit: Theresa May resists calls from MPs to resign
The prime minister is resisting calls to resign despite a growing backlash against her Brexit plan from Conservative MPs.
There have been doubts about Theresa May’s leadership for many months. She herself has more or less said she will resign next month. But something different has happened today, the mood has really changed.
More and more Conservatives publicly are saying she has to quit as soon as possible. Ministers have been saying to me privately she has now reached the end of line.
Number 10 is adamant, though, that nothing has really changed she will press on and still try and get her Brexit deal though. But it feels the government is almost in breakdown.
And it’s simply not clear at this moment they’ll really be able to hang on.
The UK was meant to leave the EU on 29 March, but that has been pushed back to 31 October after the Commons rejected Mrs May’s withdrawal deal with Brussels three times.
Attempts to find a cross-party compromise via formal talks broke down last week, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has rejected Mrs May’s attempts to win his MPs over with her Brexit withdrawal bill plan.
‘Not a compromise’
Mr Corbyn said her “bold new deal” was really a “repackaged version” of her failed withdrawal agreement, adding: “No Labour MP can vote for a deal with the promise of a prime minister who only has days left in her job.”
He said the issue of Brexit had been “dividing our society and poisoning our democracy”, but claimed Mrs May’s deal “does not represent a genuine compromise”.
Addressing her critics in the Commons earlier, Mrs May said: “In time, another prime minister will be standing at this despatch box, but while I am here, I have a duty to be clear with the House about the facts.
“If we are going to deliver Brexit in this Parliament, we have to pass a Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and we will not do so without holding votes on the issues that have divided us the most,” she said.
“In the end, our job in the House is to take decisions, not duck them.”
‘Has to stop’
The SNP’s leader in Westminster Ian Blackford – who supports a further referendum to remain in the EU – said it was time for the prime minister to go, having “lost the trust of the public”.
“This deal is dead,” he added.
The DUP, which props up Mrs May’s government, has also refused the vote for the bill.
Labour’s Liz Kendall backed the call for a public vote, telling Mrs May she will not get enough support for her bill from opposition members without including a confirmatory ballot as part of the deal – rather than just offering a vote on whether to have one.
But Conservative MP Vicky Ford said: “We cannot continue to leave our country in this uncertainty. It has to stop. The whole House has to stop saying no to everything on the table just because it is not our favourite dish.
“If we vote for this bill we can move on and the discussion on the next stage can start.”
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